It’s time for Pride 2017

Hey everyone!  So I got to be a part of the fabulous P.R.I.D.E. Portraits photo lineup and I was so proud to be asked!  There are so many fabulous Houstonians in this lineup I can’t even tell you.

I’m not going to say a lot about it, because it just speaks for itself.  I was asked what I wanted the world to know about me and the statement included just sort of came up for me.  It wasn’t hard to think about who I am at this time in my life.   Here’s what I said I’d like people to know about me:

When I embrace all the parts of me that I denied or avoided for so long (my white beard, my being a bear, for instance) it gives everyone permission to completely be themselves around me and in their lives. I can’t think of a greater gift than that.” – Harold Hal Kelly #gay #lesbian#trans #queer #ally #intersex #bi#prideportraits #equality #instagay #bear#beard #lgbT #FABULOUS #love #lovewins #downtownhal



Of Chicken, Shadows and Roger Whittaker…

I think I’m beginning to get a little better understanding of what is happening on the planet at this time.  All of this talk of gay rights, Christianity and chicken got me so upset over the last week that I seriously began to doubt that we, as a species, would ever really find a way out of this.  It felt hopeless.  I have never felt the level of despair and hopelessness I’ve felt recently.  As bad as it has ever gotten for me and my life, and believe me I’ve had some rotten times mixed into the great stuff, I’ve never ever lost hope that it could get better.  Until I saw how people treated each other this past week.  The things that were said were hurtful on both sides.  All of a sudden you either believed in Jesus Christ and his selected bible passages…or you were a total heathen and deserved death, hatred, or at the very least, to be vilified.

I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life for the most part.  I didn’t have the same experience of coming out as a lot of teenagers and others have had.  My parents accepted me the minute I told them I was gay.  That was at 11 years old.  At 9 years old I remember telling my dad that I was different than the other boys.  I didn’t know why I was different…I just remember liking my boy friends and loved being with them.  My dad and I sat on the floor in my parent’s bedroom and talked about it.  He assured me that there was not a thing wrong with my feelings nor about my feeling different.  He told me it was normal and that it may change, but not to worry about it…just be myself.  Then we listened to music together…Roger Whittaker to be exact.  The song I remember from that time is New World in The Morning.  The lyrics went like this:

Everybody talks about a new world in the morning.

A new world in the morning so they say.

I, myself don’t talk about a new world in the morning.

A new world in the morning, that’s today.

And I can feel a new tomorrow comin’ on.

And I don’t know why I have to make a song.

Everybody talks a bout a new world in the morning.

New world in the morning takes so long.

I’m very appreciative of my parent’s love and acceptance of me.  Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t experience that kind of love like I did.  Whenever I did experience being called a fag or other hateful words intended to hurt me, I paid no attention.  I embraced it for the most part.  If you were going to call me fag or gay, then I’d be the best fag or gay you’d ever met.  It was the ultimate in revenge really.  In Junior High and High School I went so far as to wear makeup to school and dress in crazy clothes.  Luckily it was the 80’s so you could pretty much get away with crazy stuff like that and everybody thought it was cool….mostly.

So here we are in 2012 and arguments are being started, wires are being crossed and a few people are stirring the pot for whatever reason.  It reminded me when I read Plato’s Republic.  The metaphor of the cave in particular, I believe, applies to this situation.  There are a group of people in a cave.  (cave could be interpreted to be life here).  The people inside the cave can only look upon the shadows cast upon the wall of the cave before them. Light comes to them from a great fire burning behind them, higher up, and at a distance. Located between this fire and the people of the cave is a road at a higher level along this road a low wall has been built. Here other people have puppets, which they use to cast the shadows upon the cave wall.

These shadows are given names by the people in the cave, and they consider them to be real things. However anyone outside of the cave in the bright sunlight would no longer see the shadows (or be under the illusion manifested by the puppet show). The people inside the cave cannot stand the bright light of the sun outside, and so always avert their eyes back to the shadow wall.

These are the people who seem to be asleep to the spiritual world, dreaming a dream of worldly consciousness, and afraid of waking up. The process of ‘waking up’ or turning away from the obsession with ego, and the mundane awareness, away from the shadows and back toward the light, is Metanoia – the transformation of the mind from that which is worldly to that which is the light of true consciousness.

People, at any time, can choose to not be enamored by the shadows in the cave.  The shadows have names…freedom of religion, the right of a business to operate however they want, the right to be married, the fear of God’s wrath when we say we know better than Him.  All of this is just a temporary distraction from what is really going on here…there is a brighter place that we have feared to go to together.  There are puppets used as distractions so we stay in the cave.  There is fear that you will wake up and stop believing all this.  But it’s really hard to save face and change your mind.  There is an art to changing your mind.  Christian’s can change their mind and stand on higher principals of love and acceptance.  But if they did they would have to accept love in all it’s forms.  My gay brothers and sisters would have to have a lot of compassion and understanding while we all grew together and come out of this cave.  And we’d have to remember that there are going to be those who are SO committed that we stay where we are that they will use any means necessary to keep us there…including dividing us, killing us and separating us inside our communities.  If there is a devil…surely this is it.

So what now?  We are on the cusp of something big…I can feel it.  All the distractions and smokescreens that will be thrown our way cannot take us off course from our journey together.  But they will try.  Chic Fil A is a distraction/shadow.  Sarah Palin eating at their place and flaunting it is a distraction/shadow.  Hate groups aren’t anything new…but they are also a distraction.  The KKK was a distraction.  It’s ALL a distraction.  It’s nothing but shadows.  So let’s get our head back in the game here and look for a way to bring this together.  There is a new world coming…and a new world in the morning, that’s today.

Be kind to each other.  For everyone (all of us) is fighting a hard battle.

Thank you dad (and mom) for the inspiration for this.  You did a great job with me and I love you for it.


Flicking Channels…See a movie you love…gotta watch it again…

I’m such a predictable person.  As much as I’d love to think I play life off the cuff, I am a creature of habit.  This morning I was changing channels as I’m prone to do on Sunday morning.  I was looking for a good movie to watch..but truthfully I was looking for one of the same old movies I have to watch when I see it on tv.  We all have them…those movies you’ve seen a million times but for some reason when you see them on tv or find them on Netflix, you just HAVE to stop and watch.  It’s a strange phenomena.

Here’s my top list of movies I have to watch when I see they are on TV:

1.  White Chicks

I consider myself to be a smart man and have some good taste.  But this movie is my ultimate guilty pleasure.  Two heterosexual men have to go undercover as two bitchy, snarky white chicks who are spoiled and rich.  The lines in this movie are PRICELESS.  I seriously laugh out loud to every one of them…even though I’ve heard them so many times!  You can read some of the best lines here.




#2 The Matrix

I love this movie so much I can barely stand it when I see it on TV.  It’s usually on one of those channels that broadcasts it as a 5 hour movie, with 3 of those hours being commercials…seriously hate that.  But I’ll watch it anyway because I love it so much.  It’s hard to believe it’s been out for so long…over 10 years ago.  But this movie literally changed my life.  It made me question if the reality I lived in was really real.  Did I have a choice in who I was going to be in life…or was I just acting out some predetermined hallucination?  Very powerful stuff.  I can quote all the lines from The Oracle and it usually drives everyone crazy who happens to be sitting in the same room with me while it’s on.  Seeing Neo become who he really is is simply the most moving experience I’ve ever had at the movies.  I loved it so much, it helped redefine who I think I am for myself and others.  I’m very grateful for this movie and it’s subsequent sequels.  But this one started it all.

3. Planet of The Apes

I was born in 1968, when this movie came out.  By the time I was old enough to see the movie there had been a few sequels to it like Beneath the Planet of The Apes and Rise of The Planet of The Apes.  Anything that involved time travel, apes, space and cute guys garnered my attention immediately.  The first time I watched Planet of The Apes was on a late night movie broadcast on a local channel in Houston.  I couldn’t sleep…I was so thrilled that I literally could not sleep.  I thought about the movie over and over again.  And since this was so long ago and there were not rebroadcasts of the movie or even VCR’s nor DVD’s, I couldn’t watch it again until many years later.  This movie opened up a level of creativity and critical thinking in me that I had not experience before.  I actually felt different as a kid, being gay and all but not knowing that’s what it was.  I identified with every character in the movie at some point in my life.  I appreciate the forward thinking this movie provided.

#4 Logan’s Run

Wow…how do I explain my love of Logan’s Run?  It was made in 1976.  I was 8 years old but I’m not sure when I first saw it or where I was.  I only remember the profound impact it had on me.  I would often joke that I don’t know what my life would be like after 30…but it didn’t matter because I wouldn’t live that long anyway.  Before I got sober nearly 15 years ago this year, I remember thinking to myself how fast and hard I lived my life believing that I wouldn’t be alive past 30 anyway…just like the characters in the movie…so I decided to live life full-on!  The only problem with that was that the drugs I used didn’t really allow me to live life full-on…it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as it would seem…lol.  Logan’s Run inspired me in art class one year as I remember drawing transport tubes for people to travel inside from city to city.  Science Fiction made such a huge difference for me while growing up.  This movie was an important part of my development as a young man and I’m forever grateful for it.  There was a version of the movie called The Island (with Ewan McGregor) that I loved also.  It’s a little different premise than Logan…but just as exciting!

#5 Girls Will Be Girls

OK…how do I explain this movie.  Three actresses at various places on the Hollywood food chain navigate the minefield of love, aging, and ambition. Oh, and they’re all played by men!  This movie is hilarious.  The lines are incredible.  The humor is amazing and so sharp.  The characters, all played by men, are so well written and thought out.  This started out as a little internet skit video and turned into this little masterpiece that isn’t broadcast too often on television.  But it is on Netflix and that is dangerous because I have to watch it every freakin time I see the movie poster.  I see something different in the movie every time I watch it and laugh louder and think how did I miss that?  This isn’t a gay movie…the characters aren’t gay men…they are actually playing women in the movie…actually there are no women in the movie at all (a little bit of trivia).  It helps to have the subtitles on so you don’t miss anything.  This is one of my all-time favorite movies and I find it intoxicating and amazing.  The sequel is on it’s way soon and I’ll be there watching it for sure!

There are many more movies I could tell you about…but these are my absolute favorites.  They continue to delight and inspire me on so many levels.  They make me think.  They make me believe that life is going to work out after all.  And they remind me that there is a future and it is bright and love works out all in the end.  Thanks for reading.  I’d love to know what your favorite movies to catch on television or Netflix and why.  So how about it?  What’s your movie??

UPDATE:  I just found this incredible Advanced Screening Preview that was made for theater owners to hopefully select Logan’s Run to play in their theaters.  It’s got some pretty amazing unseen before scenes.  Check it out for a blast from the past and super treat!

It’s Only a Manner of Time…


I’ve spent some time thinking about the whole Boy Scouts and Chick Fil a thing. I saw someone in my life publicly support their stand against gays on FaceBook today. They absolutely have the right as private groups to set their own rules as much as I disagree with them. But. I think it’s good that companies and organizations that subscribe to these narrow, demeaning and separating beliefs are being brought out into the spotlight to show the true nature. Love will always win out. I don’t have to worry about a single thing. I have faith. And as a Boy Scout growing up it was some of my favorite times. My mother was a DenMom and made thousands of cupcakes and snacks to support me. And I so desperately wanted to be like other boys without the drama of being a kid. And there, in my little group, I was. Anything was possible. They never spoke of anything other than love and being an outstanding citizen. And even when I told my Scout Master that I felt different than other boys, he built me up and told me I was ok. It had to be difficult for him since I was the first he’d probably ever had to deal with. I’ll never forget my experience there. And even though i can never give back by being a leader there because of who I am privately I think I’d make a great Scout Master. And I know this phase of growth for them seems difficult and hateful. But it’s where they are and they need to go through it and we have to be understanding that just like the exclusive use of clubs, restaurants, water fountains and restrooms were once commonplace for blacks and Jews, this too shall pass. It’s only a matter of time. And love will win. I have no doubt about this at all.

The last thing I’ll say is that I saw someone close to me “like”a thing on Facebook supporting the Boy Scouts decision to ban gays. My heart jumped and I felt a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time…the feeling of being wrong and sick and lost. I haven’t felt that way for a while. I don’t blame him. It’s not his fault. I had hoped that by knowing me as a grown, successful, caring, loving man that it would somehow change the perceptions of gays. Maybe I realized how much more work there is to do. But I sat there for a few minutes not saying anything and felt empty.

Love will win. Even when it’s not won yet, it will. I am confident enough to tolerate the pain until then. So go ahead Boy Scouts. Go ahead Chick Fil A. The times are changing and love will win. It is only a matter of time.



The Formula For Power… (a message for all the gay teens out there)

About a week ago I was commenting on some photos on InstaGram.  Someone had posted a really horrible comment about gay youth and how they should just go ahead and do everyone a favor and end their lives.  They also said some crappy things about the suicide rate rising among gay youths was a good thing, that it was taking care of a problem in society.  These comments were coming from another teenage girl.  It was hard not to get angry at her.  And her friends were equally disgusting.  They freely quoted the bible as the justification for their comments and reasoning. My first reaction was to bombard the posting with comments of my own, which a lot of people seemed to be trying to do.  But these girls were armed with enough information to hurt others, which is what most people do when they don’t understand something.  And most disturbing…they learn this from people in charge.  Parents who say things and people from their church who spew hate while preaching love and tolerance.  I’m not the first person to post something about this so this isn’t anything new.  It feels hopeless to ever try to change their minds or their thinking.

But then I remembered something that I had made a huge difference for me!  I remembered that I don’t have any control over their speaking and thinking.  I don’t have any power over the adults who will continue to pray for us but spew hateful things while singing hymns.  I don’t have any control over any of that.  But….I do have control over me.

I don’t believe I was born any certain way.  I don’t know if God made me this way.  I don’t know if my upbringing, my friends, my baby food, my medicines, my clothes, our financial status when growing up, or having all sisters made me gay.  And in the long run, would any of that really matter?  Would it really matter if any of that was the source of my sexuality?  I love being gay and I thank God every day I got to be the man I am.

So, No.  It wouldn’t matter.  Because here I am now.  Lady Gaga sings Born This Way.  I think it’s something bigger than being born this way and so we can’t help it.  It’s not our fault…we were born this way.  I think Mother Monster actually meant something bigger.  (I love you Lady Gaga!!)

10 years ago I actually chose my life.  I chose the life I have.  I chose to embrace who I knew myself to be and gave my self permission to choose to be gay.  That’s right.  I said I chose to be gay.  I chose everything that is including in that choice.  I am responsible for my life and who I am right now.  Not the people who think they can pray for me or hope I change or ask God to forgive me for my “ways.”

I remembered this while those little girls where saying what they were saying.  I remembered thinking to myself “they don’t have a choice.”  They didn’t have a choice to be accepting or not.  They are being fed this constant stream of out-dated thinking toward other people.  They are baby girls with futures in front of them just like every other child out there.  And their future isn’t any less bright than any other child’s future.  And our job is to educate them that they have a choice, too.  They can choose their life, exactly as it is, and exactly as it isn’t, but they don’t know that!  And when you can choose your life this way, you have freedom.  You have the freedom to be whomever you want to be or not to be.

So, my response to the InstaGram stream was simple.  I hope it makes a difference for anyone out there struggling with this.  Being born this way (any way you think you might have been born) plus choosing the life you have, equals amazing power and freedom.

So to all the teens out there struggling or wondering if something is wrong with you….no matter what anyone says….no matter what anyone in charge may say…no matter what your parents say…no matter what your pastor says….no matter what your family says, you are perfect.  And you are fabulous in every way.  But don’t take my word for it!  The best way to find out if this is true is to go live life so fully and fabulously that even the dirt on the street says how fabulous you are!

Go…live life and be fabulous!  And choose life every time!  If for any reason you, or someone you know, is struggling with their sexuality or thinking they are not worth living life fully, it’s our job to remind them how awesome and amazing they are.

I love you and honor you and wish you nothing but the best in life.  You can email me or comment here if you need any help!  Click the picture below to be taken to the Born This Way Foundation that Lady Gaga and her mom created or you can go to  Thank you for reading and I love you!


In Memoriam…

I gave up Diet Coke last week. I’ve long heard it was bad for me, etc. I read a lot of web articles and found horrifying things and some not so bad things. Everyone says its bad for you. but people continue to imbibe. I’m not a preachy person (about most things) and I’m not going to start. I don’t really know anything about Diet Coke, other than its been my best friend for a very long time. We’ve woken up together in the morning and watched Good Morning America. We’ve watched movies together. We’ve gone out to eat and always preferred the company of DC rather than DP (you know who you are). And we’ve worked long days and catered events together. But sadly I ha to say goodbye to my dear friend Diet Coke. You told me we were friends to my face, but you were stabbing me in the back while we made the world smile. I even turned my other friends on to you. And you took them and me for granted. I’m not angry you did it. I always knew in the back of my mind we would never work out forever. But it didn’t stop me from trying.

In the past week and a half, I’ve not had any headaches other than minor caffeine struggles in the beginning. Nothing I would want to go through again, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I’ve felt less swollen in my joints. My knees and legs don’t hurt as much. And I’ve grown to like sparkling mineral waters. I’ve been able to sleep a little better. And I’ve gotten more aware of what I’m putting in my body. I’m not perfect with it and I do miss your company. Nothing feels better than eating something salty and chasing it with your sweet burn. But the possible circumstances and unknown-ness of your safety overall were too much of a risk.

So I wish you well Diet Coke. I know lots of people will continue to love and adore you. You’ve gotten me through some good and bad times in my life. But this is where we go our separate ways. Goodbye.


A Little Something for the Game…

I did a little video with Fox26 here in Houston for some ideas on foods for tailgating.  But since the Super Bowl game is tomorrow I thought I’d share them again!  The dessert nachos were awesome.  And the Kegs & Eggs are De-Lish.

Football Season Means Tailgating Food:

No really….

I love this picture.  I took it in an elevator on the way to work.  And I seriously had that look after I read an email from someone.  There really isn’t a lot of other stuff to say here.  But I love my haircut.  I feel better as I get older…and hopefully I’m getting better with age.  Grrrrr, I’m a bear!

My White Trash Five-Ingredient Recipe

To make your Britney Spears, White Trash Dessert, is mostly in the attitude. While you are mixing the ingredients, you are judging white trash. As you mix the soft ice cream sandwiches, you think to yourself, “yeah…only white trash people eat these!” As you mix the Cool Whip and ButterFinger Candy Bars, you think to yourself, “omg…what piece of trash would combine these things?!” And finally, as you pour the hard shell over the top of the mixed ingredients, in your finest tupperware or glass casserole dish, you think to yourself, “I AM that person and THIS is a masterpiece!” (And this is really good by the way!)

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches
Have it be a little soft, like white trash morals, before you are ready to combine the ingredients.

Butterfinger Candy Bars
Crunch them up really good inside their own packaging…you basically want chunky pieces of ButterFinger bars. Just think of all the times you’ve wanted to beat someone…this is your chance to take out your anger here.

Cool Whip
Or some kind of whipped cream…doesn’t matter how you say it! Whip or “HWhip”

Hard Shell Ice Cream Coating
Pick your favorite flavor…it’ll all work out in the end.

Tupperware or Casserole Bowl
How you present this is really important! Glass bottom casserole dishes make the best presentation!

If you do it right…you are entitled to one of these babies!