Category Archives: Family

Dang Dude, Do You Live On The Computer? The LeftofStr8 Story

So that question was posed to me recently, and yes, I have a tiny little apartment next to the TAB key.  HA!  I thought it’s time to peel back maybe just a layer of what I am doing in this great big cyber world.  If you didn’t know already, my name is Scott.  I live in Northeast Ohio.  I am over 29 years old, (that’s when I stopped counting, I just have anniversaries now of my 29th birthday, and frankly I don’t want to do the math).  I am single and gay, and not always in that order.  I’m a chubby man who enjoys movies/concerts/plays, television, comics, food, writing, and occasional naps.  (I know what you are thinking, ‘he is into comics and all of that stuff and he is still single?’ sad but currently true).

I grew up in Southern California, have lived in six states, and traveled through 43 states and two other countries.  I have worked too many jobs to count, but I am a hard worker and vagabond by nature, so I love to travel around and try new things.  I have owned two businesses, but just finished doing a job I hated for 5 years.  I am currently unemployed by choice. ( I know, another reason to wonder why I am currently single).  Unemployed does not mean I am not working.  My father has had two heart attacks and two strokes, and was recently hospitalized for a month and a half.  I have quit work to help him and my mother out, as he is basically been given 5 months to 5 years, for the second time.  The new wrinkle is he can barely walk around the house, but thank goodness he is still mobile.

While my mother is still quite capable, her old bones have begun to creek a bit as well, so I am currently doing most of the cooking, most of the cleaning, most of the laundry, and all outside errands for banking, groceries, prescriptions and odds and ends.  To do this, I have moved back home into the fully finished and furnished basement, while my parents are as I call them, “The Strangers Above.”  Honestly this basement is bigger than a lot of apartments, yes I am talking to you New York friends, and it has its own entrance.  It has enabled me to not live off of the government since my only bills now are for my car and clothes, and I was able to save up a nice pile of cash in my many years of working.  My parents pay for all the food and a small salary for me.  (Live with your parents?  C’mon seriously, you can’t be single.)

Basically I work at home for a total of 2-4 hours a day, freedom to go out almost anytime but meals and doctors, so it’s really not as bad as it sounds.  To that end, I have A LOT of time on my hands and a lot of creativity and energy to burn off throughout the day and evening, so here I am, on the Internet.  My forte in all of my working years was restaurant management and marketing.  Those are the two businesses I owned as well; my own restaurant and my own marketing company.  The nice thing about the Internet is you can now build a business almost entirely from online.  That’s my goal and current passion.  I am starting a Restaurant Consulting business, where I will actually go out to the restaurants, and an Internet hub through writing, blogging, posting, and eventually podcasting about issues I am passionate about.  The LGBT Community, Entertainment, and Food.

I am looking forward to looking after my dad as he needs me, until the day he doesn’t need anyone anymore, and interacting with my friends and confidants online and in my little community here in NE Ohio.  It may not be the most glamorous life, but it’s a good life for now, and hopefully the Internet will make it a little more fun and profitable as I go on.  I just wanted to take a second and open up about myself a bit, and say thank you for following me, and encouraging me on my journey here on the Internet and with my family.  (And no matter what you read above, I am still quite a catch, lol)……..Scott

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Are Boycotts as Out of Style as Dolce & Gabbana

So I am coming a few days late to the party of commenting on the Dolce & Gabbana boycott, called out to we gays and our supporters by Sir Elton John and others.  I would hope that we as people, both lgbt and straight folks, can agree that the out and gay designers, put their foots-in-their-mouths with such offensive and stupid statements.  (Use your inside voices boys, don’t spew hate to a wide-audience interview).  Do they have the right to their opinions?  Sure!  Should all personal opinions be given to the world at large?  Definitely Not!  I think we do have to understand that these men are true Italians in a country that has not been very forward-thinking in lgbt rights and equality, and also a country that has a plurality of Catholics, (c’mon, the Pope-Mobile is parked in Italy), where these issues and right-to-life, are the daily group-thought.

My point in addressing this issue however, is not what they said, or the amount of stupidity that I thought they spewed, but is a boycott really the best we can do?  The first lgbt boycott I can remember, was against the Coors brewing company, primarily for their anti-gay hiring practices.  I guess you can call it successful, as it did bring attention to the issue, and I remember it, but was it successful in changing the practice?  Eventually the practice was changed, but was it due to the boycott that was enacted in 1973?  If yes, that’s a long negotiation, because the boycott wasn’t called off until twenty two years later in 1975.Since then, our lgbt Community as called for other boycotts, including: the Heinz Company, the Salvation Army, Target, Best Buy, Chic-fil-A, and Stoli vodka.  To my knowledge, all these companies are still going, have not really changed the issues that we were boycotting against, and I can tell you that personally, without my trusty Internet, mostly been forgotten.

In today’s day and age, is a boycott really worth our time?  I am not saying there are not acts, both in words and deeds, that should not be rallied against in protection or defense of our Community, but with the technology we have available, and the communication that is available, I think we need to re-think our definition of boycott.  Maybe it is my definition of boycott that is archaic, but doesn’t it still mean primarily to stop using your dollars to support the company or person?  Most boycotts that I am familiar with, start with some great press, but after the initial round of press, you never hear anything about it.

I want to support our Community, but a boycott for me and many like me, are just not an option.  I don’t drink beer, I like my fries with Ketchup dammit, and if I could afford Dolce & Gabbana, I would not still be living in Northeast Ohio.  I can participate in physical and virtual protest that isn’t a solitary purchasing boycott, and I could keep at it until we seem some actual hard line results.  I could create a video-a-week about two men kissing or together in a Heinz ad, and send it to their headquarters every day until I saw them show diversity in one of their ads.  I can write letters to the editor and blogs weekly about a candidate who I completely disagree with their politics, that has been supported by some company’s money.  I don’t want to have to sneak into Target to get my next discounted coffee maker.  Look at Elton John, who days after calling for the D & G boycott, had the misfortune of carrying a make-shift man purse, out of an older D & G bag from a prior purchase, just days after calling for the boycott. (See, social media can be a real b*tch).

Our lgbt Community is online like almost no other, and we have a large range of options we can use to put pressure on companies or persons who spread homophobia, hate, or sometimes, just plain ignorance.  Let’s coordinate email campaigns, micro-protests at storefronts when possible, social media posts and videos that can be shared, and shared again.  I am not trying to oppose the “idea” of a boycott, just maybe the execution of one.  How can we come together as a Community and make it successful, and sustaining until we get the change we are looking for, or the acknowledgement of our complaint.  Anyway, that are my thoughts on boycotts, I would love to know how others feel and what alternatives you have found that are working, or what didn’t work.

The Slow Demise of the Gay TINKs….

I know I just scared half of the older gay males, but don’t worry, and that was not a misprint. I am not talking about the fresh-faced, smooth, young, gay male sub-set of 18-24 year olds, commonly referred to as “Twinks,” I was alluding to the fading presence of gays with, “Two Incomes, No Kids,” (TINKs). Our straight friends often refer to themselves and us gays as DINKS, (Double Incomes, No Kids). One of my best friends and his partner, are the latest to take the leap and adopt a real, live, infant, in addition to the family pets that have been our children for so, so long.

In this cultural renaissance, where we are able to live a little more out and proud these days, and indeed with gay marriage being the law of the land in over half of our country now, more and more gay couples are adopting and creating children in record numbers.  Same sex adoptions have more than doubled, in just 10 years time.  Where before we would be saving our money for the gay pride celebration in Amsterdam, or the White Party Weekend in Palm Springs, we are now counting our pennies for pre-school waiting lists and family health insurance premiums.

For years, what little research and sampling that has been done, has shown that gay male couples, usually make about 41% more than the national average income of couples.  This has created a much bigger pocket of disposable income in years past, and it is still true to a large degree today, although with more gay couples with children, it’s not quite as disposable as it once was.  This is a big reason why you are seeing more and more major corporations marketing to the LGBT community now.  It’s not about the marketing of equality as much as it is about our gay community spending more and more money on the things that “traditional” families have been spending money on for ages.

Unfortunately, the flip side of this shows our lesbian community has not been able to take advantage of the double incomes as much as our gay males have.  Not only have our sisters had to fight for equality in their relationships, they have also had to spread their resources to fight the unfair wages paid to male counterparts across the board.  Most women, gay or straight, still usually earn about 70 cents to the dollar that men make.  Combine this with the fact that a lot of lesbian couples have more children than gay male couples; the cards can definitely be stacked against them.  Looking at the current marketing campaigns for same sex couples that have been increasing lately, it is noticeable that it is mostly male couples being advertised to.  The stereotype of the two male income buying power is still present.

I want to congratulate my best friend on his new adorable baby girl.  I know that he and his partner are going to make excellent parents, and I look forward to being Uncle Scotty.  The new debate in their family is now to decide if they are going to “OINK,” (be a One Income, New Kid), family and have one of them stay home with the little one. Okay, I may have made that acronym up, but the debate is still the same.  I hope they can remain the same power gay couple I have always known them to be, but if not, who cares, they have more important things to spend their money on now.  They are going to be the best daddy’s I know, and let Uncle Scott spoil her rotten with his currently disposable income, I have always wanted an Easy Bake Oven!…………..S