Saturday, June 10, 2006

Out Of The Darkness Overnight

The Out Of The Darkness Overnight is a 20-mile overnight walk benefiting the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. They are a great organization that helps to educate about depression and suicide, do research and counseling and give support to people who have been affected by it.

I thought it was a great cause, and I've chosen to walk to support, specifically, gay youth. It's horrible every time I read about a gay teenager who took their own life because they felt that their family, friends or society would never accept them. I know how it feels, so thought this would be a great way for me to do my part.

I have to raise $1000 in order to participate in the walk, and still have quite a ways to go. My employees have contributed over $100 so far, which is terrific. My boss has vowed to match personally whatever the employees contribute from all the stores in the district. I've contacted a lot of my friends who have been willing to donate.

Strangely, the people who don't seem to be that supportive are the gay community. I sent emails to both Andy at Towleroad and Joe at JoeMyGod, two of the most widely read gay blogs on the 'Net, asking them to mention what I was doing to see if I could get the gay community to rally around me and donate. They never answered, never posted anything on their site. I guess it's more important to keep posting pictures of shirtless athletes or Madonna or talk about getting laid than it is to use your clout in the community to help a good cause. My email group made up of authors and readers of gay material failed to generate a single donation either.

To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only one walking specifically for gay youth support, which is kind of sad. However, I vow to raise the money and get out there. I was asked to walk in the Gay Pride Parade here in San Francisco on June 25th as part of the Out Of The Darkness group, but unfortunately I have to work and can't get out of it.

The walk is July 22nd -23rd. Anyone who wants to contribute to helping me raise money can do so at this link. Of course, please spread the word to anyone you know who might contribute.

One Week To Go...

So only one week to go until the big commitment ceremony. I'm not really nervous, but just a little anxious to get it done and over with. So much planning and it'll be over quickly.

The big surprise was my parents' reaction. I had sent them an invitation with a personal note letting them know what we were doing and that I very much wanted them to be a part of it. I told them I understood if they never wanted to discuss it, but I still wanted them to consider it.

To my shock, my mother called and told me that since we were referring to it as a commitment ceremony and not a wedding, she could give her blessing to it. The folks even gave us $300 to throw the reception, which just further blew my mind.

There will be some notable absences from the festivities which make me kind of sad, but I understand. My friend Lee has a great gig going with a national park and won't be able to get away to make it. My buddy Doug in Tennessee has had some money issues, so I completely understand. Fortunately, virtually everyone else on my list confirmed that they would attend. There were some issues with invitations not reaching everybody for some reason, but all seems to be well now.

We are going to take a honeymoon of sorts, to Palm Springs. Now Palm Springs may be the gay mecca of the desert, but try finding a hotel that ISN'T clothing optional. I know, you're probably wondering why I wouldn't want to go to one but's my honeymoon, and I'm a big furry bastard that doesn't want to get nekkid in front of a bunch of people. Or be tempted by those who do. So we found a great place called the East Canyon Hotel and Spa which is a gay joint but is NOT clothing optional. We'll fly down on the 18th and stay three nights and see what Palm Springs has to offer. I'm just hoping for lots of air conditioning.