Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And Advocate's 2014 Phobie Award recipients are ...

Advocate.com: Dec. 31, 2014 - 2014 Phobie Awards: The Worst People of the Year | Advocate.com

Honey Maid, Hanky Codes, Warwick Rowers: The gay business ads that defined 2014

Huffington Post: Dec. 31, 2014 - Gay Viral Videos Of 2014: Honey Maid, Hanky Codes, Warwick Rowers And More (NSFW)

Gay porn industry reports case of HIV transmission

Gay Star News: Dec. 31, 2014 - US porn industry rocked by transmission of HIV during condomless gay shoot | Gay Star News

First same-sex marriages take place in Scotland

Gay Star News: Dec. 31, 2014 - First same-sex marriages take place in Scotland | Gay Star News

Conservative group files lawsuit to prevent same-sex marriage in Florida

Associated Press: Dec. 31, 2014 - Conservative group files lawsuits to stop same-sex marriages in Florida – LGBTQ Nation

Looking back: Those who left us in 2014

New York Times: Dec. 31, 2014 - Looking Back: Those We Lost in 2014 - NYTimes.com

Dec. 31, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Time is a circle. The end is the beginning.

Day by day, a year comes and goes. Today's end is the beginning of the rest of our lives. We take with us what we have learned today. We are the same and not the same.

As long as we are alive, we will continue to wrestle with questions, seek answers, and solve problems. Let's be gentle with ourselves and others, choosing to respond with non-judging love and acceptance instead of unrealistic demands of perfection.

We have found a blueprint for recovery. Our preoccupation with not enough and too much has led us to a spiritual solution. Each day brings us new opportunities to express our development - a more patient response to a traffic jam, the ability to empathize with a child's embarrassment, the acceptance of a disappointment. Today is another day to learn how to be serene, to nurture body and spirit so that we may function as an integrated totality. We will continue to learn and grow toward recovery.

I will begin and end today by listening to my inner voice.
From the book:
Inner Harvest by Elisabeth L. © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 31, 2014 - Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 
Today, I need not fear anything for I have endured and survived the horror of active alcoholism and, by the grace of AA and a Higher Power to which it led me, I have emerged not only intact but a better person. I have kept the faith in the program, in its steps and principles, in the Power stronger than I, and I found faith in myself that I never had before. My gift has been sobriety the last 24 Hours. Having vested not only my heart and soul but my very life in this program, I faced few terrors other than those within myself but met them with the guidance of the steps. Now, nothing can compare and any fear from any source is something I know I can face responsibly, with faith and sobriety. Today, I have nothing to fear except the ghosts of my drinking past, and my program has strengthened me to move beyond them, to leave the fear behind. Yet I do not take for granted the gift of sobriety as something I am owed or even deserve; I have an obligation to it, and that obligation begins with sharing the message. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 31, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give AA my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion and, most of all, myself. The Lord's Prayer has become part of my AA thoughts for each day: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Have I given myself?

Meditation for the Day
As we look back over the year just gone, it has been a good year to the extent that we have put good thoughts, good words and good deeds into it. None of what we have thought, said or done need be wasted. Both the good and the bad experiences can be profited by. In a sense, the past is not entirely gone. The result of it, for good or evil, is with us at the present moment. We can only learn by experience and none of our experience is completely wasted. We can humbly thank God for the good things of the year that has gone.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may carry good things into the year ahead. I pray that I may carry on with faith, with prayer and with hope.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 31, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014

Reflection for the Day
God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference - living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it: Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

Today I Pray
May I look back at this past year as a good one, in that nothing I did or said was wasted. No experience - however insignificant it may have seemed - was worthless. Hurt gave me the capacity to feel happiness; bad times made me appreciate the good ones; what I regarded as my weaknesses became my greatest strengths. I thank God for a year of growing.

Today I Will Remember
Hope is my "balance brought forward" - into a new year's ledger.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 31, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014

Every man at some time arrives at a place where the course of his entire future rests upon a decision. Judas was one day a saint and the next the betrayer of the Lord.

We members of AA also had our moment of great decision. Many more days of decision will probably be our lot, but by the Grace of God and our new-found sobriety, we can meet any situation by reliance on God's Will rather than our own.

Hazelden Foundation

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Six resolutions every gay man should make for 2015

Advocate.com: Dec. 30, 2014 - The 6 Resolutions All Gay Men Should Make | Advocate.com

2014 in review: The year's top 14 most notorious homophobes



Huffington Post: Dec. 30, 2014 - 14 Of The Worst Anti-LGBT Villains Of 2014

2014: The year in bisexual invisibility

Advocate.com: Dec. 30, 2014 - The Year in Bisexual Invisibility | Advocate.com

Last season of 'Glee' to feature a gay singing quarterback

Canadian actor Marshall Williams
Gay Star News: Dec. 30, 2014 - Last season of Glee to include a singing quarterback who happens to be gay | Gay Star News

Transgender teen in Ohio struck, killed on interstate in apparent suicide

Leelah Alcorn
LGBTQ Nation: Dec. 30, 2014 - Transgender teen struck and killed on Ohio interstate in apparent suicide – LGBTQ Nation

Dec. 30, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Being less than perfect

It was not a perfect year. But is there ever a perfect year? Being clean and sober does not purport or offer perfection. It gives us a chance to strive for progress. When we keep our Higher Power in our thoughts and actions, we come closer to perfection all the time.

Despite the disappointments of our complex lives, we are finally beginning to learn how to live. We are finally making progress.

Am I content to be less than perfect?

Higher Power, I pray that I may continue to strive for progress and be satisfied to be an imperfect human.
From the book:
Day by Day © 1974, 1998 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 30, 2014 - Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 
Today, I awaken with full memory of last night but, if not, the day that awaits offers a chance for another beginning. Grant me the wisdom and courage to seize the opportunity to continue or even begin to work toward something better, something I thirst and hunger for - sobriety, serenity, peace, calm, a worthy self-image, and a sense of gratitude that I am here even to be given yet another second chance. My best hope for what I seek is AA and its steps and principles and, today, may I finally decide that enough is enough of the alcoholic hangover and all the garbage that comes with it. But let me be disciplined enough, too, to understand that what sobriety and recovery offer comes with a price - to be of service to anyone who needs and wants what I seek. Today, I have yet another chance for another new beginning. Don't let the lifeboat go by without me on board. And our common journey continues. Step by step. Chris M., 2014

Dec. 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
To the extent that I fail in my responsibilities, AA fails. To the extent that I succeed, AA succeeds. Every failure of mine will set back AA work to that extent. Every success of mine will put AA ahead to that extent. I shall not wait to be drafted for service to others, but I shall volunteer. I shall accept every opportunity to work for AA as a challenge, and I shall do my best to accept every challenge and perform my task as best I can.

Will I accept every challenge gladly?

Meditation for the Day
People are failures in the deepest sense when they seek to live without God's sustaining power. Many people try to be self-sufficient and seek selfish pleasure and find that it does not work too well. No matter how much material wealth they acquire, no matter how much fame and material power, the time of disillusionment and futility usually comes. Death is ahead, and they cannot take any material thing with them when they go. What matters is if I have gained the whole world, but lost my own soul.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I will not come empty to the end of the my life. I pray that I may so live that I will not be afraid to die.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

Reflection for the Day
My life before coming to The Program was not unlike the lives of so many of us who were cruelly buffeted and tormented by the power of our addictions. For years, I had been sick and tired. When I became sick and tired of being sick and tired, I finally surrendered and came to The Program. Now I realize that I had been helped all along by a Higher Power; it was He, indeed, who allowed me to live so that I could eventually find a new way of life.

Since my awakening, have I found a measure of serenity previously unknown in my life?

Today I Pray
May I realize that my Higher Power has not suddenly come into my life like a stranger opening a door when I knocked. The Power has been there all along, if I will just remember how many brushes with disaster I have survived by a fraction of time or distance. Now that I have come to know my Higher Power better, I realize that I must have been saved for something - for helping others like me.

Today I Will Remember
I am grateful to be alive and recovering.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

If man was created by God in the image of God and did not possess human frailties, he would be God. All men would then be perfect and Heaven would exist here on earth. There would be no logical reason for it to operate simply as a branch of Heaven.

With our limited understanding of God's purpose, we must suppose that man was intended from the very first to work out his own evolution. The reason this process has required so many centuries has been man's persistence in the exercise of his puny little will as opposed to the Will of God. That we are less than God is due to our freedom of choice between being one with God and our attempt to play God.

Hazelden Foundation

Monday, December 29, 2014

More than three dozen corporations file brief pushing marriage equality in Florida

On Top: Dec. 29, 2014 - Target, Amazon Among Companies Asking Court To Strike Down Florida's Gay Marriage Ban - On Top Magazine | Gay news & entertainment

Florida newspaper tabs state's anti-gay marriage AG a 'modern-day Anita Bryant' and political 'loser of the year'

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi: State's political 'loser of the year'
LGBTQ Nation: Dec. 29, 2014 - Fla. newspaper calls Pam Bondi a ‘modern-day Anita Bryant,’ names her ‘loser of the year’ – LGBTQ Nation

Depression is a dirty word

The Good Men Project: Dec. 29, 2014 - Depression is a Dirty Word -

Dec. 29, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Monday, Dec. 29, 2014
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Has it been a year of growth?

As any year draws to a close, we should reflect on how we have grown in sobriety. We should also identify changes during the year that enabled us to overcome bad habits and to move closer to better patterns of living.

Though we never are guaranteed favorable outcomes, we should always remember that sobriety is its own best reward. We want a full life, of course, but it must begin with a decision to seek and to maintain sobriety at all costs.

We find that with sobriety, lots of other problems seem to solve themselves. Even if they don't, we have the tools to move forward and to achieve goals that always eluded us while we were drinking. Every year in sobriety is a year of growth.

I'll be conscious today of recent improvements I've made in my life and all my affairs. With sobriety, these improvements will go on for a lifetime.
From the book:
Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. © 1996 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 29, 2014 - Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 
Todaywhen resolutions for the coming new year are in vogue, I will make none because to do so skirts the program's edict to take life one day at a time. Further, I have no guarantee that an entire year is promised me, and I cannot live for a day in the future because, in doing that, I am neglecting today. AA discourages us from living or looking too far ahead if today is sacrificed and encourages us to make our resolutions daily. Today, awakening to a new day, my resolution is to adhere to the steps and principles of the program and not drink and, further, to grow in the sobriety I seek. And our common journey continues. Step by step. Chris M., 2014

Dec. 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Dec. 29, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Participating in the privileges of the movement, I shall share in the responsibilities, taking it upon myself to carry my fair share of the load, not grudgingly but joyfully. I am deeply grateful for the privileges I enjoy because of my membership in this great movement. They put an obligation upon me which I will not shirk. I will gladly carry my fair share of the burdens. Because of the joy of doing them, they will no longer be burdens, but opportunities.

Will I accept every opportunity gladly?

Meditation for the Day
Work and prayer are the two forces which are gradually making a better world. We must work for the betterment of ourselves and other people. Faith without works is dead. But all work with people should be based on prayer. If we say a little prayer before we speak or try to help, it will make us more effective. Prayer is the force behind the work. Prayer is based on faith that God is working with us and through us. We can believe that nothing is impossible in human relationships, if we depend on the help of God.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my life may be balanced between prayer and work. I pray that I may not work without prayer or pray without work.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Monday, Dec. 29, 2014

Reflection for the Day
The success of The Program, I've been taught, lies in large measure in the readiness and willingness of its members to go to any lengths to help others tyrannized by their addictions. If my readiness and willingness cools, then I stand in danger of losing all that I've gained. I must never become unwilling to give away what I have, for only by so doing will I be privileged to keep it.

Do I take to heart the saying, "Out of self into God into others ...?"

Today I Pray
May I never be too busy to answer a fellow addict's call for help. May I never become so wound up in my pursuits that I forget that my own continuing recovery depends on that helping - a half-hour or so on the telephone, a call in person, a lunch date, whatever the situation calls for. May I know what my priorities must be.

Today I Will Remember
Helping helps me.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Monday, Dec. 29, 2014

Is someone happier, better or braver because of some act of yours today? If you can answer yes to any or all of them, then you can feel rather confident that you are progressing in the AA way of living.

If you can't - then you are not giving it the old College try and you are cheating yourself out of a lot of happiness that could have been yours.

Hazelden Foundation

Sunday, December 28, 2014

85 of the most powerful comings out of 2014

Towleroad: Dec. 28, 2014 - Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 85 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014| Gay News | Towleroad

Socially awkward? Well, here's how not to be that anymore!

The Good Men Project: Dec. 28, 2014 - How to Stop Being Socially Awkward -

A distinction to be without: Journalism mag nails CNN's Don Lemon as 'the worst"

CNN anchor Don Lemon
Advocate.com: Dec. 28, 2014 - Journalism Magazine Calls Don Lemon The Worst | Advocate.com

Dec. 28, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm.
 -- Hannah Senesh


Life offers little if we sit passively in the midst of activity. Involvement is a prerequisite if we are to grow. For our lives' purposes we need enthusiasm; we need enthusiasm in order to greet the day expectantly. When we look toward the day with anticipation, we are open to all the possibilities for action.

We must respond to our possibilities if we are to mature emotionally and recover spiritually. Idly observing life from the sidelines guarantees no development beyond our present level. We begin to change once we start living up to our commitment to the program - its possibilities and our purpose - and it's that change, many days over, that moves us beyond the negative, passive outlook of days gone by.

The program has offered us something to believe in. We are no longer the people we were. So much more have we become! Each day's worth of recovery carries us closer to fulfilling our purpose in life.

I believe in recovery, my own; when I believe in success, I'll find it. There is magic in believing.
From the book:
Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey. © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 28, 2014 - Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014 
Today, let me loosen my grip on my perspective that the Program hammers what I cannot do and, instead, understand that it empowers me with what I can do. While I cannot continue in futile endeavor to regain control over alcohol, I can disempower it by not feeding it. While I cannot continue to engage in conduct that injures myself and others, I can chart a 180-degree course change and start to give something nurturing instead of inflicting harm. And while I cannot always make direct amends for whatever reason, I can make indirect amends by working a program in which my sobriety is its own amend. AA is not a program of cannot; it is, instead, a program of can. Today the first word in can't is can. And I can. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
AA may be human in its organization, but it is divine in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward God and the good life. My feet have been set upon the right path. I feel it in the depths of my being. I am going in the right direction. The future can be safely left to God. Whatever the future holds, it cannot be too much for me to bear. I have the Divine Power with me to carry me through everything that may happen.

Am I pointed toward God and the good life?

Meditation for the Day
Although unseen, the Lord is always near to those who believe in Him and trust Him and depend on Him for the strength to meet the challenges of life. Although veiled from mortal sight, the Higher Power is always available to us whenever we humbly ask for it. The feeling that God is with us should not depend on any passing mood of ours; we should try to be always conscious of His power and love in the background of our lives.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may feel that God is not too far away to depend on for help. I pray that I may feel confident of His readiness to give me the power that I need.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

Reflection for the Day
The Program, for me, is not a place nor a philosophy, but a highway to freedom. The highway leads me toward the goal of a "spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps." The highway doesn't get me to the goal as quickly as I sometimes wish, but I try to remember that God and I work from different timetables. But the goal is there, and I know that the Twelve Steps will help me reach it.

Have I come to the realization that I - and anyone - can now do what I had always thought impossible?

Today I Pray
As I live The Program, may I realize more and more that it is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. May I keep in mind that the kind of spirituality it calls for is never complete, but is the essence of change and growth, a drawing nearer to an ideal state. May I be wary of setting time-oriented goals for myself to measure my spiritual progress.

Today I Will Remember
Timetables are human inventions.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 28, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

It is very often easier to identify an alcoholic by his hang-over than by his drinking pattern. Alcoholics, for the most part, resemble the non-alcoholics when they have a load aboard, but in the morning, when the sweats and the shakes set in, then the alcoholic can be identified by the degree of his suffering. The alcoholic's hang-over cannot be gotten rid of by 10:30 simply with aspirin or Bromos.

Hazelden Foundation

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The big list of public figures who came out as gay in 2014

Advocate.com: Dec. 27, 2014 - The Big List of People Who Came Out in 2014 | Advocate.com

Indiana drafting 'religious freedom' bill to allow businesses to deny services to gay patrons

Indianapolis Star: Dec. 27, 2014 - Religious freedom bill coming to Indiana

Dec. 27, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Saturday, Nov. 27, 2014
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Love-ability

A friend of mine recently told me how he met his wife. He had watched her walk by his store every day for a year with her young son. She also happened to be a friend of his neighbor.

"Fix me up," he suggested to his neighbor. "We'll go on a double date. I really want to meet her." Unfortunately, the neighbor never got around to setting up that first date.

Finally my friend devised a plan. Every day when she walked by the store, they said hello to each other, but she never stopped to chat. This day, he was ready. He had his store keys in hand. "Would it be all right if I walked with you for a while?" he asked when she walked by.

"Don't you have to mind your store?"

"I'll lock it up," he said.

"You don't have to do that," she said. "We can sit here and chat."

That Friday, they had their first date. She was nervous.

The next weekend, they went out again. She was still nervous. He turned to her, "You can relax," he said. "I'm not going to try anything inappropriate. I just want to enjoy your company." As time passed, she did relax, and they continued to become friends. Three years later, they were married in a small ceremony. "I didn't want to overwhelm her son," my friend recalled.

He wrote his wedding vows. He promised to love her and care for her all of his life. He promised to love her son and protect him, as if he were his own. She lit up his life, he said, and he was grateful for her promise of companionship for the rest of their lives.

My friend is a lucky man, but not just because he found someone he truly loves. He is lucky because he is able to recognize the gift of his wife's love. Most of us have the ability to see when we have been harmed, hurt, or slighted, when we're not loved or treated the way we'd like to be. But we can learn to see those acts big and small when someone shows us love. They are the greatest gifts of all.

Call it believing we deserve love, lovability, or love-ability, the value is opening our eyes and hearts so we can see and receive love from others, friends, family, romantic involvements, and God.
From the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie