Monday, January 28, 2013

Michelle Zink

I don’t remember exactly when and how I ended up in Michelle Zink’s (author of The Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy) Facebook page with several other strangers giving their opinions about the Salvation Army’s exclusion of homeless gay couples in their shelters, but I haven’t forgotten how I felt while reading the comments on her post. I’m not interested in giving any lectures about the acceptance of homosexuals, nor am I interested in being lectured about NOT accepting them. Discussions about homosexuality often end in debates. If we start today, we might not live long enough to reach a conclusion. Life is too short. I don’t want to spend it being an imposing, self-righteous heterosexual “sinner”, or a confused hypocrite. I just want to write.


On Michelle’s post, she said (as far as I can remember) that she will be donating her hard-earned dough to other charities that cater to people regardless of… After the first comment, the next ones came in rapid succession and I have to admit that it was very hard not to shake my head on some of them. “To each his own”, I kept reminding myself, and this applies to all aspects of our lives. If that’s the case, then a person’s religious beliefs are only as important as another person’s sexuality. Too bad, we live in a world where some people can understand a lot of things EXCEPT that. I read on and in one of the comments, this was her response and it stuck to me:


“If anything, I think we should applaud those who choose to be true to who they are even when it often makes them a target for discrimination and hate. If it's more important for someone to live life the way their God supposedly wants them to, more power to them. But I choose to believe that if there is a God, he/she celebrates our individuality and love in all its forms.” (Michelle Zink)


I just couldn’t pass the chance to comment on a free wall. This was what I wrote:

“I could not even begin to type how grateful I am to know that an author I admire and aspire to be like has the same feelings about an issue that is also important to me. The world is full of social and moral constructs. A lot of people say they want to make a difference but they refuse to start with themselves. Your conviction may be a huge part of who you are but God is far greater than anything else. He understands and accepts beyond what humans can. We should all get along regardless of, in the very least, sexual orientation because if the concept of hell is true, we'll all see each other there. Homosexuality may have been discussed in the Bible but self-righteousness and a lot of other "sins" are too, so if you put a cheating heterosexual vs. a faithful homosexual before the Lord, I doubt that the God I know will choose according to humanity's religious standards. I doubt that He will choose at all. I believe that He is more compassionate than any book can describe, and that the way to honor Him is to honor each other.”


The way I constructed my comment had a lot to do with how the flow of the wall post discussion went, and how Michelle’s words affected me. For a long time, I had rules above my head, more likely created by men than by God. I had been blessed to be without the "moral and social burden" (reality bites) that is homosexuality, but what if I were gay and there are no people like her, with a voice that has the capacity to influence the next generation of Ellens (DeGeneres) and Rickys (Martin) to be true to themselves? Will I even consider pursuing writing with the fear that my writings will be snubbed by a close-minded society just because of my sexual preference and liberal way of thinking?


I hope to be a writer like Michelle is: courageous, compassionate, and liberated in the right sense.  I pray that someday we can all make peace with the reality of the times we’re in, motivate each other to be our best selves (homo or hetero), and encourage one another to accept others as we’d like to be accepted before IKEA runs out of closets. The Salvation Army is a Christian international movement and WE GET THAT, but let me ask you this one question:


If JESUS -for all that we know he was- was approached by a homeless gay couple in dire need of a place to stay for the night, will he ask them to break-up before he takes them in?


P.S. I read this story in one of Yahoo’s search results. Of course, the couple opted to sleep in the streets. They can make a "NO SEX HERE" rule for homosexual couples so that they can still help them without compromising what they stand for. That's way more "Christian" in my opinion.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chain for Fools


I love to read. There are plenty of reading materials out there that will not only inform you or make you rethink your take on some things, but they can also change your life. And then, there are some that are not only considered a waste of time and effort. If you’re not so intelligent, you’ll lose a considerable amount of money as well. I’m talking about chain letters, messages, and texts. I found reading them beyond annoying, so I don’t waste a glance on them anymore.


I’m irritated in part because of what’s in it.  The letters and messages are not about anything at all. When you read one, half of it is about the actual letter itself and the other half is just filled with threats. If that’s the case, what’s in it for you then? Maybe luck. Maybe nothing. But one thing’s for sure: you’re a decision away from being a fool. You see, part of the reason I’m irritated with these letters’ existence is because I fell for it a few times before. Yes, I felt fear that compelled me to send out those letters and texts, and I only felt dumb after. I was not blessed.


The only good thing I got from those experiences was the chance to confront my fear of losing things that I value be it my life, my loved ones, or stuff that I own. But I forgot something, Someone, that is more important than anyone and everything… God. I realized that my faith died with every letter I sent. I failed to trust Him by giving in to my fear of losing people and things that are less important than Him. I forgot that no matter how many texts I send, He’s still The Boss and no stupid chain letter or SMS can defy His will. I’m smarter now. I know better than to insult His power by falling for those pieces of crap when there’s nothing in them anyway. Those letters and messages don’t have any words of wisdom, or messages of love that can give a sense of comfort. They just instigate fear.


I made this post with the intention of erasing all residual faith we still have on these scams. We must pass on only things and words that enlighten, not letters and messages that make fools out of us. Feel free to share this to whomever, whenever, however you want. If you don’t, nothing bad will happen to you. If you do, you can save a fool from wasting his precious time, effort, and money that he can’t take back. We ought to be smarter and stronger in our faith in God, don’t we?
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Monday, January 7, 2013



 "Everybody’s equal: color, creed, or circumstance. We’re all the same on this planet."
Dr. Bertram Pincus

 "Your story is not boring or ordinary. We get to live just one life. You can’t live someone else’s or think it’s more important just because it’s more dramatic. What happens matters, maybe only to us, but it matters."

From the movie GHOST TOWN written by David Koepp and John Kamps
(Source: Wikipedia)

I remember rummaging through my borrowed DVD’s a year ago and saw this one in the “can’t watch” pile. Not watching horror movies is one of the many ways I have chosen to stay sane. But I thought, “How can Ricky Gervais do a horror flick with Téa Leoni and Greg Kinnear?” So I watched the trailer on YouTube and said, “Nah. It’s rom-com. Totally my thing.” And it was.
It’s about a dentist, and being a dental nurse at a dental clinic that time, I became curious as to how a movie-worthy story can be told using someone in the dental industry as a main character. I was way too bored where I was then. The plot is simple, but in-cre-di-ble. Well, the universe is a humongous place and the existence of non-people with “unfinished” businesses is an accepted fact for a percentage of our planet's population. I used to think that once you’re dead, you’re literally finished. If God requires your existence in the greater scheme of things, you won’t be six feet under. But, He created writers too. Then, I realized that I wanted to be one. And, if you want to be a writer, you have to be capable of believing that anything IS possible... so there. Then, Ricky and Téa delivered those lines and I’m like, "They said it alright!"
Have you ever been in a church group gathering listening to people’s testimonials? Boy, I have! After every sharing, I’d say to myself, “My life is freakin’ boring. I have nothing but petty, internal struggles.” That was almost two years ago when I didn’t have a story to trump a hopeless romantic teenager's three-year battle with pubertal acne. It’s not that I feel so important now because finally, I have a more interesting story to share other than my break-ups. You see, everyone has their own shit to deal with every day.  I just feel grateful I went through something that helped me become more understanding of others. It’s easier for me now to look past a person’s imperfections and consider whatever hell he’s been through. I just hope others can do that for me, too. I mean, what you read is what you get but wait! There’s more… ish.
It amazes me that no matter how different we are and the circumstances we’re in from each other, we’re all still the same. It's because we were extended the same grace by the same God... TO LIVE. Whether you are a person who desperately wants to take a break from all the drama or someone who still feels the need to convince other people that your life is as eventful as you fantasize it to be, IT’S YOUR LIFE. How you choose to live it is your business. Just be ready on how others will respond to yah when you make THEIR lives your business.
The upside and/or downside of every human experience is the person you become. I want ME to be the upside of every painful experience. I don’t want to be like the others who’ve been through hell but always end up there. I want to walk around with my head up high, my story told with the way I relate with others, with how I write, with how I love. God had planned a wonderful life for each one of us. We just have to live it… and then we can choose how to tell it.

Watch the trailer: Ghost Town Movie Trailer (2008)                                  


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