Live in the Moment

Originally Posted: September 23, 2014

Once again life has shown me just how precious the moment of Now is. I arrived home from work last night only to receive a phone call from a good friend that a local gay icon had passed away. He had fallen from a ladder at his home and died. Once again it was a case of, “one moment here, and the next, gone.”

All we have are the moments that the days bring us. We’ve all heard those old sayings: don’t waste your time, live each moment as it comes, live now because that’s all we get, and they are all true and times like this demonstrate that truism.

Jim Deva was a pioneer and a true leader in the Vancouver LGBT Community. he was instrumental in starting Vancouver’s Little Sister’s Bookstore; and through his efforts he, along with his store manager Janine Fuller and his partner Bruce Smyth led the fight against censorship from the federal government. The battle ended up in the Canadian Supreme Court and Little Sister’s won, the federal government had to back down. Because of this the three of them became national trailblazers for LGBT rights. Newspaper articles were written, TV and radio interviews were given and a documentary about their fight was made called Little Sister’s Vs. Big Brother in 2002.

Today, all of us in the LGBT community are left feeling there’s a huge hole in our hearts. We will live through this and we will never forget Jim Deva, his smile, warmth and passion when it came to community affairs. Somewhere, somehow, I know that Jim knows how we’re feeling and he would simply say, “Carry on, folks, carry on.” And while we carry on, let’s not forget the others in our diverse community who need our help, let’s not forget to tell those we love that we do love them, and most of all, let’s not forget to have fun along the way! Because, like this news with Jim, we never know if the next moment of Now will be our last.

HIV All These Years Later

Originally Posted: June 22, 2012

I was looking through some old papers and came across some rough notes I made a couple of months ago regarding an interview I had heard on the radio. I thought about that interview and made some notes about it in order to write another blog. However, I never did get things together enough to write and post it at that time, so here it is, a couple of months late but still relevant:

When I heard it on the radio this morning I didn’t quite know what to think or feel. A doctor was being interviewed about how the present state of being HIV Positive is considered nothing more than a chronic illness. This is especially true if a person is diagnosed early enough they can live healthy lives late into their seventies and eighties.

The interviewer asked this doctor if there were any particular groups who should be tested every year and her answer was, “everybody.” The interviewer sounded incredulous when he asked her again and she repeated, “everybody.” It is no longer considered a disease that ravages homosexuals or intervenes drug users only.

I couldn’t help thinking back to when I was 25 years old in the summer of 1982, there was all kinds of talk about a “gay cancer” infecting men in places like New York and San Francisco, and not long afterward, it started trickling into Canada. I remember at the time there was speculation it was caused by inhaling poppers, (Amyl Nitrite). It was also around that time this new infliction was briefly given the acronym GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency). It was only when it this disease was discovered in other populations that the term was shifted to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

In those early days being diagnosed as HIV Positive was considered the first step on the way to living with, and dying of, fully blown AIDS; and I remember it was a common belief that the person being diagnosed was generally given about two years to live. Fear became rampant in the gay communities all over North America. It was such that the onset of a cold would be cause for alarm…
“Oh my God, could this be it?”
“What if this is HIV?”
“Should I get tested right away?”
“Do I really want to know the results?”
“Will the consequences be worse if I didn’t know?”
At that time, those knowledgeable were saying the fear of HIV was killing more people than the actual condition itself, which was correct; but in those early days we just didn’t know what was going on or how people were getting it.

It didn’t help that religious zealots and bandwagon politicians were all over this issue. Cries of “God’s vengeance for the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah” and admonitions of living perverse and dangerous lifestyles were rampant on Sunday morning televisions across the Globe.

Politicians were equally as bad. I remember seven Legionnaires attending a national convention in Philadelphia died of a mysterious illness and every available action was taken by the American government immediately to find out why. But, it took over 100,000 gay men to die of a mysterious illness before the Reagan administration reluctantly acknowledged there might be a problem and action was finally taken to find out why. Some people are indeed more equal than others. Over the next fifteen to twenty years losing so many friends and acquaintances to HIV/AIDS was the thing that stands out for me the most. In fact, I stopped counting when I lost friend number fourteen…and the numbers continued to climb.

Now here it is 2012, I will soon be 55 years old, and I realize I seem to be a bit of a rarity. I’m one of the few gay men I know who came out of the closet back in the mid-1970’s, was very sexually active, and to this day remains HIV Negative and healthy. So many who came out at the same time as me are no longer around, and it’s because of them I feel the need to write this down. So much has changed, and in many ways little has changed.

Here we are, thirty years later and HIV/AIDS are still among us. They took a huge bite out of a whole generation of gay men, and those of us who are left remember all of those who are no longer here with fondness. But a new generation of LGBTQ2S folks are out fighting the good fight. They are the generation that have grown up with messages of safe sex, HIV transmission and I find with young people these days, being LGBTQ2S is not even an issue. It just doesn’t matter to them who you love, they all go out on the town together, go to each-others bars and get involved in making the world a better place for all.

But some things don’t change at all. Religious zealots and social conservatives still want to drag society back to medieval times, and still shriek hysterically that God Hates Fags. But the news that HIV is now considered a chronic illness and not a death sentence is welcomed as many who live with the diagnosis are living fulfilled and happy lives. Our LGBTQ2S communities have proven to the world and ourselves that we are resilient, creative and loving. And to the religious zealots and social conservatives who still believe that HIV/AIDS are somehow God’s vengeance upon the LGBTQ2S communities I say they are not, nor were they ever. The fact we’re still here and stronger than ever proves that. No, we are not going away!


Originally Posted: November 2, 2014

The Silly Season is upon us again as we in British Columbia ready ourselves for province-wide municipal elections. No sooner will they be complete, when the entire country will be charging headlong into a federal election in 2015. Unfortunately for the general public, all parties on all levels of government are in campaign mode all the time no matter where they are on the political spectrum. No wonder the general population is tuning out! We all have a case of Campaign Fatigue!

I have to say from the outset that I totally agree with the late George Carlin when he would go on his angry rants about how politicians of every stripe don’t give a shit about you, your family or your community! I believe that’s true. Here in Canada all elected officials may have good intentions when they first enter the game, but all too quickly all of them have to tow the party line as the Party Whips instruct them to…or else.

I also recognize something else, even though politicians don’t give a shit ninety-eight percent of the time, there is one day, perhaps the ONLY day when they truly do care about what we think, what we say, and more to the point, how we’re going to vote. That’s right, they DO care about us on Election Day! They care because their jobs are on the line, and let’s face it, nobody wants to be fired! So here is what is important. We as citizens have the power. Every politician of every political stripe is going to be watching what’s going to happen because elections determine who the public hires, who gets their contract renewed and who is fired, and that’s all down to us! So why not use that power we have? Even if it is only for that one day, it’s our day to have our say. It’s our day to really let our voices be heard! It’s our opportunity to remind our elected officials that they are in OUR employ, not the other way around. Please, GET OUT AND VOTE!

As we have seen in other countries, our rights and freedoms can be taken from us too easily. And luckily for Canadians, not only politicians but Elections Canada as well as a number of community organizations will make sure that as many people get to the polls as possible. If you’re physically challenged there will be rides available to make sure you can exercise your franchise. There are advanced polls set up in case you will not be around on election day. And, as in my case this year with the Vancouver municipal election, a mail-in process is available so I can pick up my ballots at the Elections Office, show them my government-issued photo ID, fill out my ballots and mail them in. There is no excuse not to vote. Let’s take advantage of that one day when all of our elected officials truly do care about our voices, and others are there to ensure we get the chance to make sure our voices are heard. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the other citizens of our cities, our provinces, and our country. The real power is in our hands, let’s not fritter the opportunity away!

Don’t Forget to Be Awesome!

Originally Posted: March 10, 2014

That’s the piece of graffiti I saw while cutting through a local park this afternoon. It struck me at the right time because I was forgetting to feel, just that. You see, I’ve been on quite a journey over the last year and a half to two years. I’ve spent my life in fear and anger, and i reached a point where I resolved to change that. Self-love is something that I’ve only been learning over this time and to my surprise it has not been an easy journey.  So, it was right at the time I decided I wanted to change my life that I met a guy named Darren.

Darren became my life coach and we became friends. Our journey together has been eye opening, amazing and full of emotion from joy to anger. I’ve grown a lot since we began our journey together and to Darren’s credit, he’s been extremely patient with me because I’ve not been the easiest person to work with. For as many giggles of boyhood joy, there have been as many bouts of angry silence on my part, (I hate it when people can read me like one of my books. It means I can’t hide). But that’s good because it means in the end I have to be honest with myself.

However, in the last few weeks, I’ve really been resistant to any further work on myself and Darren and I have reached the same conclusion, it’s best that we don’t work with each other, at least for a while. I’ve just come through a period where I’ve allowed my anger to get the better of me again. And as Darren has said to me, “This unwavering commitment to resisting emotional healing is starting to show up as a missing of respect at times, and while I have always been willing to work with you, I am not willing to participate when having to more regularly pushback against you my friend.” That about says it all. While I’m not pleased about the truth in that statement I have to say that emotional healing involves, for me anyway, opening old wounds, facing long held fears, looking at myself in a mirror and trying to see beyond the self-loathing I previously had. For me it’s been an emotional roller coaster.

I’ve been surprised lately when something has taken over me, something mere words can’t explain but I feel the reality of it very deeply.  It’s almost like somebody, God, The Universe, Higher Self, whatever, has taken the steering wheel from me and told me to sit still. To my amazement, things have just been falling into place for me lately. It drives the car and I happily ride shotgun. Never in my days have I felt more at peace and willing to let life take me where it will. Is that called surrender?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got a lot of that emotional baggage, but these days I’m finding it easier to make a shift in my attitude about things. Through all that work with Darren and this newly found feeling of surrender I can say I am truly worth it. And although I’m sure I’ll have many more bouts of silent anger, it is now easier for me not to forget to be awesome.

Attitude Adjustment

Originally Posted: November 24, 2011

I have always known that life is as you believe it is. This for me, is a truism, and it occurred to me again today as I found myself getting depressed over my present job situation…I’m in between jobs. During the last two days of my job hunt I have found myself getting steadily more depressed because I’ve put out a lot of effort and have had two interviews, but no results.

To add to the misery, I checked my bank account balance and found a grand total of $15.00…and that has to do me for another week. This threw me even further into a depression. Then something occurred to me. I realized this afternoon that I had been focusing on the things i lack as opposed to the possibilities. I further realized that even just a shift in thought process can make all the difference in my outlook.

So, I thought about that $15.00 and I decided that rather than this being what is left in my bank account; this would, in fact, be the beginning of my financial growth. In other words, I would make $15.00 become $150.00, which would become $1500.00, which would then become $15,000.00, etc., etc., etc.

The upshot is, I think this is the mental boost I need to get me out of my depression and carry on with the task at hand. In the meantime, I can focus on my search for a good, steady income until it manifests into reality. Life is truly how you look at it.

Artists: Geniuses, or Weirdos?

Originally Posted: March 27, 2014

I’ve discovered the secret of being a success in the arts community. First of all, take some time to formally familiarize yourself with all of the rules regarding, art, design, writing, sculpture, etc. Then, systematically break all of those rules! From that point forward you will be considered a genius! No, I’m not kidding.

Think of all of the artists that we remember most: Jack Kerouac, Jackson Pollock, Vincent van Gogh, Hemingway, The Canadian Group of Seven, J.D. Salinger, Picasso, the Beat Poets, et cetera, and you’ll find all of them, without exception, coloured outside the lines. Strange isn’t it, how a world that considers itself so refined and steeped in strict rules makes heroes of those who break said rules. But that’s the weirdness of art. After all, to be an artist of any sort is to be deemed weird from the day you take your first breath, and that’s totally fine by me. An artist by his/her very nature lives on another planet, and experiences a world of possibilities that the average person is too busy too sense. Our job is to make what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell become a real-life experience for others. In order for us to do that, we have to fall out-of-sync with the rest of the world, otherwise we simply would not be artists.

Yes, I’ve heard all of the charges that have been made against artists: weird, lazy, self-absorbed, tortured, eccentric, temperamental, and so forth, and much of these charges are true to a degree. On the other hand, such characteristics come with the territory. Because to be an artist is to see the world differently we therefore we are different from others. Ours is a world full of concepts, creativity, conspiracy theories, crap shoots, non-conformity and contradiction, and none of us would have it any other way.

Think about this, art and artists hold a unique place in the world and always have. When civilizations come and go what has been left to let future generations know they existed in the first place? The frescos, the hieroglyphs, the mosaics, the scrolls, the statuary, the pottery, the cave paintings, the art. We’ll never know who the individuals were who created these things, but their legacy was being the messengers through time and space to give us a snapshot of what happened back in those ancient times.

So as weird and pretentious as the art world is deemed, now that you know the secret of being a success in the art world, and what we are truly about, what are you waiting for? Get out there and be the genius you truly are!

It’s All About Change!

Originally Posted: February 13, 2013

So, 2012 came and went and we’re still here…TA-DAH! We found out that it was not the end of the world, the Aztecs merely ran out of room on their calendar. But on a serious note, I believe 2012 has heralded a time when people, more than ever, are looking inside of themselves and asking who am I? What is my expression of who I truly am? What is my passion? Great change is in the air.

Anybody who has read my previous writings will know that I have been spending time in the last few years following my passion, which is writing, (and a part time day job to pay the bills). But I know of several friends and acquaintances that are changing in the same ways. For example, a good acquaintance of mine is leaving his financially lucrative career in I.T. to pursue his passion, gardening and landscaping. A good friend of mine is going to be leaving his well-paying/excellent-benefits day job to pursue his passion full time, which is music. Still another has already left his financially lucrative career as a consultant, a career he enjoyed, and is a Massage Therapist. Once again, the key word is passion, and the result is great change. I guess money ain’t everything as Kevin O’Leary likes to constantly point out.

I observe the world is moving forward to the degree where, not only individual attitudes, but also entire institutions are finding they must change drastically or become irrelevant. Two good recent examples of this are the Roman Catholic Church and the Republican Party of America.

The former Pope’s recent resignation comes at an opportune time for the once powerful institution that has been rapidly losing members over the last few decades, due to its unwillingness to deal with scandal and hanging on to old world attitudes when it comes to social issues. Continuous outrageous pronouncements about abortion, the ordination of women and same-sex marriage made by the former Pontiff in the last few months may play well to social conservatives, but when it comes to recruitment of new members, many have been looking at the church and finding there is nothing there for them. And since the name of the game is bums-in-pews, the church knows it must do something constructive or risk irrelevance. The world has moved on but the Roman Catholic Church has not. So will the church be a bold leader for the many over the next few generations, or become a religious historical society that caters to only a few?

On January 24, 2013, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave the keynote address at the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting in Charlotte North Carolina. His message was simple, “We have got to stop being the stupid party.” As we all know this was in reference to the Republicans’ failure to recapture the White House in the last federal election, even though it appeared like a sure-fire win for them.

In a spectacular election campaign that was watched by many throughout the world we saw high profile members of the Republican Party make continuous outrageous statements regarding what would happen to America should the Democrats have another four years. We heard from Birthers, to Tea Partiers, to religious zealots yell about Communist takeovers, how the world will end and chaos in the streets, to gays destroying marriage and the wrath of God Himself if Obama won a second term. We saw the likes of: Donald Trump, Ted Nugent and Victoria Jackson have public meltdowns on election night…and then when daylight shone on the morning after, there was nothing left except the sobering recognition that the party has strong appeal to one section of the country’s population, but that was all. Members of the party had put their darkest fears on the table at the cost of their credibility. Again, they played well to social conservatives but anybody else who was looking for a place among the party’s ranks found none. America had moved on, but the Republican Party had not.

So my point in all of this is: the Chinese New Year Calendar says that 2013 is the year of the Snake, a year of transformation. I believe this transformation is only beginning both on an individual and worldwide level, and 2012 was the year that began this process. It’s all about change; it’s all about passion, it’s all about transformation. What gives you the most joy? What’s your passion? How do you see yourself transformed?

Blog Tour-Summer of 2020

During the summer of 2020, a Blog Tour was arranged for me, because a book tour that I was planning was canceled due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. For eleven weeks I was interviewed, I wrote small essays, and generally had a lot of fun being featured on various writers’ and readers’ blogsites. Here is a list of the blogsites I wrote for. I was a great experience and I would do it again!

Ron Kearse Blog Tour 2020 for Second Novel: Just Outside of Hope.

First Stop: Tuesday June 23, 2020:

Second Stop: Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interviews Tuesday July 7, 2020:

Third Stop: All The Ups and Downs July 14, 2020:

Fourth Stop: Viviana Mackade: July 21, 2020:

Fifth Stop: Phoebe’s Randoms: July 28, 2020:

Sixth Stop: Fabulous and Brunette, August 4, 2020:

Seventh Stop: T’s Stuff: August 11, 2020

Eighth Stop: Why I Can’t Stop Reading, August 25, 2020:

Ninth Stop: Archeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books: September 1, 2020:

Tenth Stop: It’s Raining Books: September 8, 2020:

Eleventh Stop: Long and Short Reviews: September 15, 2020: