Tag Archives: Blogging

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.

Age Gaps in Male/Male Same Sex Dating….. WTF

I had a fantastic date night on Friday.  One of my New Years Goals, (I am never resolute that I will finish them, so they are goals, not resolutions), was to put myself back out there and go on at least one date a month.  Mission accomplished since January! The first one was okay, not my particular cup of tea.  The second one was okay, not his particular cup of tea.  But like the baby gay bear that I am, the third one seemed to have gone pretty right.  His name was Evan, and he was 25.  I am not.

Sunday brunch with the friends, and as I start to talk about my date, it started; the conversation about dating outside of your age range.  Although I have always been attracted to and usually dated younger men, it seems this current age gap needing a little more conversation.  One of my good friends, jokingly said, “you Lance’d him,” which he went on to explain was alluding to screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, dating diver, Tom Daley.  It was a modicum of funny, because we are always making up new words to explain situations, although personally I would have gone for “Dustin’ed” because it can allude to alluring him with fairy dust, which is well, gay.  (Don’t ask me why, sometimes my mind goes really gay, all on its own).  Although I was flattered, since a gay man of any age, would be lucky to date an accomplished and physically exceptional young man as Tom Daley, I also took it to mean that he wasn’t giving my chance with Evan much luck, as he has been leery in the past, (I say jealous), of the high-profile couple’s chances of staying together.  Yes we do waste our time talking about celebrity gay couples, whom don’t give a moment’s time caring about what a bunch of men in Northeast Ohio think of their relationship.  (If that was so, we would have had a restraining order from Dustin and Tom, and soccer player Robbie Rogers and television producer Greg Berlanti, many months ago)!

I think that Dustin and Tom have a real chance of working out.  I have known many couples who have been together from their first date, and lasted decades.  In fact, they may have a much better chance than Evan and I, for a few reasons.  First, whatever their age difference, Dustin’s handsome face already has that youthful, smooth white skin, that you would find on many a young Englishman or possibly a vampire, turned in his 20’s. (I swear he would be a perfect choice for a Vampire Lestat reboot, just saying Anne Rice).  Second, this is no sugar daddy relationship, they both come to the table with money and power.  Dustin’s entertainment and writing career allow him the flexibility to be mobile and afford to go most anywhere, and Tom’s diving career takes him all over the world and I am sure there will be many endorsement deals, plus he has his own media business with his calendars and such.  Third, this is Tom’s first same-sex, out in the open, relationship, which I find can be a plus, especially with the right guy, because there is no baggage and preconceived notions, going into the relationship.  Honestly, I think that their only two obstacles from the outside world is Dustin who could doubt his own self-worth in keeping a handsome younger man, (trust me, this I know from experience), the older one in the relationship tend to get a little jealous of others, and because of their power and fame, others who would try to come between them because they think they are too privileged or entitled to everything with their power.  The only thing I am disappointed about is that I didn’t win the double date with the two of them, where I spent $100 entering to support Dustin and Lance’s charities, HRC and Brain Tumor research, I think Evan and I would have had a blast!

My personal thoughts on May/December romances are mostly positive.  I believe the younger one in the relationship will bring out the older’s personality more, making him feel young at heart and in action.  I think the elder can bring wisdom and experience to the younger one, not in any condescending way, but just through the virtue of having more time on the planet.  That has been the experience in most of my relationships.  Without some of the men I have dated who were younger than me, I may not have learned many of the things I am now passionate about.  You forget about doing bonfires on the beach, what’s new in Anime, or which kid in One Direction is supposed to be the gay one. (Okay, I made that last one up, they have all been called the gay one or fans wished they were the gay one).

I bring a lot to the relationship as well.  I have been well-traveled enough to offer some insights on great places to go explore.  As a chubby bear, I know my way around the kitchen and know where some of the best places to eat on earth are.  I know the real reason of gay Pride and the people whose shoulders we are standing on and should salute for the opportunities we have today.  And I can balance a checkbook without having to look up my balance on an app or computer, so there!  As far as the sexual aspect goes, every partner I have ever been with, no matter what the age, are fairly familiar with the correct body parts to stimulate and each can bring a little magic the other has never experienced.

The debate between my friends and I are far from over, and I am sure we will be talking about the “right” and “wrong” type of person to date, for many more Sunday Brunches to come, but the moral of the story is this: Love is Love!  Isn’t that our new mantra as we gain equality in marriage here in the U.S.?  Is Ethan the one for me?  I don’t know, but there is definitely going to be a second date. (For now you get a picture of Dustin and Tom, after the next date, who knows).  No matter what happens, I will probably continue to date younger men unless some silver fox comes and sweeps me off my feet.  Either way, a man can dream can’t he…………….Enjoy……………S

Halloween and How Tim Cook Took Off His Mask.

Halloween is the gay man’s Christmas.  When you are left of straight, you spend a lot of time wearing masks around family, friends, co-workers, and school.  Usually those masks hide our fears and insecurities of being found out to be “different.”  But Halloween, that’s actually when our masks come off and we get to show a glimpse of our true selves.  You may not recognize the deeper hidden meaning behind our costumes, and yes, sometimes a costume IS just a costume, but to our queer community, those masks and costumes can free our inner thoughts, selves. and inspirations.

As our friends and family crack up when we “dare” to wear something outrageous, we are secretly releasing our inner Wonder Woman’s, Dorothy’s, He-Man’s, and Leather Boy’s.  Growing up in Southern California, I have bared witness to the holiday that is Halloween, on the streets of West Hollywood, and at some of the most fantastic themed parties in the U.S..  Even the most shy and introverted become outgoing and gregarious as we shed our masks of deception and let our rainbow flag fly.

For a lot of us, we wear our masks far into adulthood.  I was one of those.  I’ve known I was gay since I was about 14, and secretly acted on being gay since I was 18, and professionally hid being gay until I was 34.  I always openly supported the LGBT cause, and had many gay friends to show how progressive I was, but I was really only lying to myself and hiding in the closet to my so-called friends, without creating the true friendships I could have had if I was willing to take off my mask.

The biggest “Treat” this Halloween is Apple CEO, Tim Cook, coming out as gay in an op-ed piece he wrote for Bloomberg Business Week.  Although this big revelation has been whispered about quite openly for a while now, it still took courage to come out and emphatically own it for himself.  The venue was almost as important as the announcement.  We have seen celebrities come out in People magazine, we have seen young up and comers like olympic diver, Tom Daley, come out on YouTube, so it seemed appropriate that as a global business personality and leader, he chose a well respected business magazine to tell his own story.

Apple is quite arguably, one of the biggest companies on the planet.  As far as brand recognition and consumer awareness, it is one of the undisputed champs.  Does this announcement from the CEO mean that every Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, and Mac user will immediately push their homophobic thoughts to the side when they look at that familiar apple logo? No.  But will it hurt the Apple brand with these consumers?  Probably not. The company itself is already known for ranking among the best places for LGBT employment in regards to hiring, benefits, and protections.

What it could mean however, is that other LGBT executives at major corporations, may find it a little easier to come out as well.  Policies and tolerance usually come from the top down in business, and with more openly out leaders in business and industry, it can create a safer and more hospitable working environment all the way around.  As it is now, employers in my state, Ohio, and 28 other states in our country can simply fire you for being gay.  The tech industry is one where innovation comes fast and furious, and most start-ups are headed by younger men and women who may be building their business today from their garage, and turning it tomorrow into the next anchor of a new Silicon Valley.  Imagine if these future tech moguls, now take their cue from Tim Cook, and are able to take their masks off from the start.  To live their personal lives as free and innovative as they begin their companies, and hopefully make that the cornerstone of their work environment, for all their employees that come work for them.

We may not see any Tim Cook masks come October 2015, but rest assured that many more in the LGBT Community will not be needing to change one mask for another, as this coming out statement will hopefully embolden more of us to take off our masks we wear the other 364 days of the year.

Enjoy the day Stranger Friends, let your true mask be your compass after you take off the glitter, the wigs, the make-up, and the go-go boots this Halloween.  I’ll be the guy in the Cowboy Outfit!…………S

Hey Stranger Friends, Welcome To The World A Little Left of Straight!

Nothing is scarier the night before All Hallows Eve, (Halloween), than me deciding to write a blog again.  I had a good run of it for a while, but it has been over eight years since I can claim to have posted “regularly.”  Honestly, I don’t find myself any more interesting than I was back then, but I have certainly become more opinionated and fearless, both qualities I admire and loathe in a person, lol.  I’m still chubby, still living in Northeast Ohio, and yes, still gay.

A conflux of events has brought me here, including a major birthday, a major illness in my family, a major occupational analysis, and a major need to get all of those feelings out and write once more.  I nudged myself a little last month, by becoming a recap and review writer for BroadwayWorld.com, which has forced me to put pen to page, (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be).  If you are enjoying watching THE RED BAND SOCIETY and MADAM SECRETARY as much as I am, you can follow the links and let me know if I am on the mark on my reviews, or let me in on your two-cents worth.  I’ll be writing a little bit about all of these events as time goes on, as well as my thoughts, opinions and concerns, of the world at large, albeit from a slightly left of straight point of view.

*****You get what I did there?  I alluded to still being gay and how that influences my perspective.  I crack myself up. HA!

If you haven’t noticed, my grammar, and following the rules of writing, still has a lot to be desired.  Luckily, I have an excellent editor at BWW, (BroadwayWorld, thanx Matt), and absolute trust in editors whom I plan to submit a few ideas I am working on.  Besides those places, “it’s my venue, and I’ll scribe as I want to.” with all due apologies to Lesley Gore.  I tend to write as I speak and in my own personal stream of consciousness, so there may be some very long run-on sentences if I am excited or feel very strongly about a subject, no matter how bad it may look on the screen, especially if you don’t speak as quickly as I do, and if you don’t speak fast, really, you are wasting time, so try to get to the point Skippy, we are wasting daylight here, and I have places to go and people to see.  Sometimes it’s just a few words.  A recent blog post here on Word Press, who is hosting this blog, had some quite funny and personal experiences on editor’s own styles, so I am not alone in this, whew!  I will run the occasional spell and grammar check button if something doesn’t make sense even to me.

While “Great Expectations,” is my favorite read, don’t expect too much out of the gate Stranger Friends.  Consider my toe “dipped.” into the shallow end of the writer’s pool, and I am happy that you are along for the ride.  I hope you will follow my blog and please post some comments as the spirit moves you.  Without comments it’s just me talking to whoever might be listening and my friends worry about that for me already.  If you are a fellow blogger, let me know.  I need to fill some space on this site as I get used to the format, and would love to share your words with my Stranger Friends.  (With the exception of NSFW bloggers, or as I like to call them, “Bloggers after Dark.”, this would not be the proper place to post your links.)  I look forward to writing for you…………Scott

An eerily accurate representation of what I look like when I write from an google file photo.
An eerily accurate representation of what I look like when I write from a google file photo.