please stop using religion as a weapon.
i’m 53, but used to be 19 🙂
i came out on my 19th birthday. i got the courage to go a secretly-located gay bar and, a year later, worked there as the door person.
weekends were a monster. the line to come in was long and the place was packed. a few months later, not so much. you see…hiv/aids was hitting america and we were just learning about it. not in the news, as much as watching a few friends suddenly get sick and die a very slow, painful, death. then “a few friends” became ten, a hundred, a thousand, and hundreds of thousands.
religious folks, politicians, and society in general, thought it was a “gay plague” and only gay people were affected. almost every church in america spewed their homophobic filth all over the news with “they’re getting what they deserve”, “ye reap, what ye sow”, and other cherry-picked bible quotes to make themselves holier than thou and to demonize us. because religion made or broke elections, the politicians echoed these sentiments in order to win elections.
i will never forget the genocide of hundreds of thousands of people (straight and lgbtq), because of this.
it wasn’t until a little boy got a blood transfusion, and a famous actor (who was thought to be straight), became infected with hiv…that something was finally done for study and prevention. all of a sudden, funding became available and, 7 or so years too late, people learned that anyone could become infected.
during this genocide by the government and churches, i watched a bar filled with hundreds turn into one filled with 50. nobody asked where anyone was, because we all knew they were either sick or dead. i hope you can picture the horror of this void, as well as empathize with the emotional scar this left on the survivors. to this day, i clearly remember all of my lost friends and still feel the incredulous pain from those losses.
when we realized what america truly thought of us, we (yet again) fought back. when you have a second, google “act up” for the desperate measures we had to take to get noticed and treated as human beings.
as lgbtq continues to “trend”, please remember those who fell. trump and his minions want to see us dead again…but we’ve kicked their collective asses before and will do it again as long as we don’t become complacent.
(pictured below is me with my best friend who died a week after this pic was taken. the doctors/nurses said not to touch him so i wouldn’t “catch it”, but i was ahead of the curve on hiv/aids education and knew better. i love and miss you still, jo-joe.)
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the 9th grade, advanced placement, english teacher, was notorious for being a badass ballbuster. the 1st day of class, everyone in the room was scared.
she and i were about to meet.
when the bell rang, she picked up a rolled-up magazine and walked around the room looking at all the students. everyone averted their eyes. then, suddenly, she would slam the magazine on a random kid’s desk and say “so! you think you’re intelligent!??!” and the kid would just tremble and not answer.
she did this 4 times. one of those times the boy wet his pants. not kidding.
then she got near me and slammed MY desk and said “so! you think you’re intelligent?!!?”, to which i looked her in the face and said “i think i’m reasonably intelligent.” then she replied, “are you being truthful or being a smartass?” and i said “yes”. and, just for a nanosecond, i saw a smirk in that cold, mean, face.
she didn’t stop there, though. “what makes you think you’re so smart. do you think you’re smarter than me?” and i said, “no, ma’am, i don’t think i’m smarter than you. but i am smart enough to know that if you continue to harass and intimidate me, instead of actually teaching me to be smarter than you, that i’ll drag your butt in front of the board of education and then you can intimidate and harass the people in line at your mcdonald’s register.” she looked at me for a moment and said, “ok. you’re the teacher’s pet this year.” and went to the chalkboard and began teaching us.
she and i remained friends all year and i visited her when i could after moving to a different school across town. i went to her funeral, but didn’t know anyone there. at the family’s house, they began asking me who i was. i explained i was her student one year and told them the above story. her husband said, “oh my god…YOU’RE allen! my wife loved you so much!” and my heart melted.
rip, mrs. watts. thanks for helping to make me smarter.
my cats trying to figure out the time/space continuum:
i'm a gun owner in *strong* favor of strict gun control laws. i've never used my home protection guns (and hope i never do). if someone breaks in and tries to harm/kill me, i'll empty a clip into him w/o hesitation…but there's not enough therapy in the world to fix me after.
— Big Gay Al ? (@allenmcnulty) October 1, 2019
in july 1997, i bought my 1st domain name, designed it, and started selling stuff online. credit card processing wasn’t around yet, so it was all mail order.
i learned programming on my own, mostly via trial and error. first i taught myself html, then cgi/perl, then php/mysql. i’ve always been adept with languages and found programming to be no different than conjugating english, french, etc…plus applying math i’ve learned to round it out.
i’m thinking about teaching myself how to program apps, but i think i might wait until more “apps in a can” come out to make it easier on me to play around with.
i also used to own/run a very successful corporation that failed after 20 years (mostly due to the bush recession), but now that i’m broke again…i guess i go back to my roots of being poor. lessons learned.
until i think of a new lucrative project worth my time, effort, and energy, i’ll remember that time i was successful 🙂
(follow me on twitter!) this is my ode to the brilliant movie “airplane” 🙂
had to call my cat from the emergency room:
me: hello, butter? i'm in the hospital.
cat: oh no! what is it?
me: it's a big building with lots of doctors and sick people, but that's not what's important right now.
me: hello? is this thing on?
— Big Gay Al ?? (@allenmcnulty) September 23, 2019
follow me on twitter or you’re a stupid head.
dear little red squiggly line under the words i type,
that's not a typo, i meant not to capitalize that word.
i know you're a bit broken after finishing e.e. cummings' works, but stop bleeding all over my words.
big gay al
— Big Gay Al (@allenmcnulty) September 20, 2019
organic chocolate chip cookies is the only way to eat healthy 🙂
when i was in high school, i worked as a dishwasher and bar back at a restaurant/night club. i went in at 5:00pm, where i washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen until around 10:00pm. then the restaurant converted into a nightclub, where i bar backed (restocked beer, liquor, glassware, kegs, etc. for the bar). i worked until 2 or 3 in the morning (depending on daylight savings time). i did this 4 nights a week (on average)…2 week nights and 2 weekend nights, during 10th and 11th grades.
i was late for school almost every day, usually rolling in about 2nd period or so. it was spotty for me to make it in for 1st period.
the place was fairly new and unheard of when it first opened, but soon became a hot spot. soon after, some of my school’s teachers started frequenting there at nights. at first, they were a bit taken back by my being there, but then got drunk and didn’t care 🙂
my class load was also harsh. i was taking ap (advanced placement) classes and classes usually reserved for higher grades. i maintained an “a” average by the end of each year, though. perhaps this is why they let me break so many rules…the teachers who saw me working there all the time must have told my own teachers why i needed to break a few rules (and i’ll always be appreciative for that!)
* no eating/drinking in class – i brought my breakfast into whatever class i showed up in in the morning….not to be a dick, but because a growing boy gets fuk’n hungry and needs food! nobody said a word, except for pissed off students who didn’t like me getting “special” treatment.
* x amount of days being tardy meant suspension/expulsion – my pink tardy slips in my file was so full, the folder couldn’t hold them all. when the principal took out the folder, pink slips flew everywhere. i got a slight scolding, but no punishment. (thank you, again!)
* teachers must be ethical – in 11th grade, i was professor henry higgins in “my fair lady”. 7 performances. at the time, that role had the most lines of any character in any musical ever written. plus my classes got harder. plus, i bought my own car and needed to work still to pay the insurance. that said…i never attended my 5th period geometry class, because of rehearsals, etc. that teacher frequented the place where i worked. after the play was over, it was past the point of me catching up. i never took a single test in that class either. she secretly gave me an “a” every report card and told me never to reveal it (i think all my teachers are dead now, so this it’s probably ok to snitch now 🙂
i got fired the summer before 12th grade. the owner and one of the bartenders were an item and she told him that she and i slept together. no clue why. although i hadn’t come out yet, i was gay and definitely not interested in sex with girls…but that was a different time and i couldn’t come out to defend myself and disprove the lie.
in 12th grade, their business went belly-up and i worked part-time at an easy place in order to focus on school.
i graduated with all a’s 🙂
my thanks to everyone for helping me through it all…and i hope he and his gf reads this before they die.