Thankful Saturday

My cup overfloweth again. My aunt opened her pool and said I could use it anytime as long as I text her first. Her pool was down today – she has to get the cleaner fixed and will let me know about my next weekend.

Before I learned about my aunt’s pool, Terry said I’m welcomed to use her pool any time as well. Pools need to be used and an extra person is always welcomed. Mom, dad, and I are heading to Lambertville, NJ tomorrow for lunch, maybe next weekend. I feel grateful for both my aunt and Terry. I am blessed to have so many caring people in my life.

When my parents went to Lambertville Inn a few weeks ago when I was skating, mom inquired about a GF menu. They have one, as well as a vegan and allergy friendly menu. We are heading there tomorrow for lunch and I haven’t been there in 6 years. They celebrate Pride in May and we went during the Pride parade in May 2013. That was a special day and tomorrow will be special too – a day to celebrate love.

Everyday is a celebration of love and gratitude.

Thankful Thursday 20 June 2019

Well, there’s officially two weeks until my 30th birthday. I’m finally getting over the year-long aversion I’ve felt about turning 30 and since we can’t regress in age, I decided to invite friends to the party mom is throwing for me. Now, I just hope they can come since people seem to have plans on the 4th. My 30th birthday is going to be a joyful occasion; as all birthdays should be joyous (I try to avoid “should,” but birthdays generally are joyful).

Mom planned a BBQ for the family and apparently my cousin that moved to Brooklyn will be coming to celebrate. He and his girlfriend are coming. My other cousin and her husband who are in the Navy might also make an appearance; they live in South Carolina now, but will be moving to the Pacific Northwest soon and they might stop by. My mom is going out of her way to plan and ordered a special allergy-free cake for me from Sweet Freedom; and my family is arranging their schedules to celebrate. I am grateful and this makes me feel verklempt. When I stop to think about all that my friends and family do for me, I want to celebrate my milestone, even if I am still working toward things. I hope some of my friends can make it and I’ll be grateful if they do.

I am thankful for friends. The other night I shared my feelings with five of my closest friends about why I was feeling bad about 30. I will share what I typed because I’m learning to be honest with myself and others.

“I thought about it and it’s not my 30s that I’m dreading because 30s are still young. I still feel really bad about what happened to me in 2013 and sometimes I feel like I wish I could switch places with Brandon. I read the comments on his obituary and he was well loved by everyone in his life. At times I feel hated and I feel like my life was ruined, I feel worthless especially since a rapist has more love than me. I know it’s not true, but it’s a struggle. I will bring it up in counseling.

I guess I fear I’m going to remain stuck and I know that experience will always be with me. I guess I blame what happened when in reality some things just don’t work out and other things take time. I’m learning to accept my feelings as valid.

And also: I feel like I should have more of my life together. However, I just read that everyone wings it.”

Marsha, almost 37, responded that she does not have her life 100% together either and no one truly does. We all just wing it.

Anna, 31, said life is all about winging it. I also mentioned to her that I feel like sometimes people think I must be stupid or that there is something wrong with me. She responded that she often felt that way too, which surprised me. She shared a Lady Gaga video with me and Lady Gaga feels that way too! I think that’s another thing we all feel.

Christina and Tiarra basically said, “he’s dead and gone and you have such a long, successful life ahead of you.”

Laura also responded, “Your 30s are going to be so much better.  I know it. It is sad that so many people loved a demon in disguise. They loved a version of him that he displayed. People love you for your authenticity, for who you are.”  I should also add that most people don’t say negative things when someone dies, especially publicly on an obituary. Like social media, I can’t believe everything I read there. And even if they are true, they are true to the version they saw of him. That image is valid to them, just like my image of him is valid to me. I still feel for his family; 32 is young and no parent should have to bury their child. That’s the type of person I’ve always been and while he almost killed me, Wraith decided thsd night I still had a purpose to serve. I still feel sad at times, but deep down I could never wish that upon someone.

I’m thankful for each and every one of those responses, Kathleen’s too. Kathleen is Aunt Kathy’s age and has wisdom: at almost 60, she wings it too. I place too much on a number, when a number doesn’t really mean much. That’s true; I may still live at home, but I have a strong support network and I’ve had many experiences that a lot of young people don’t have. I think I just get into my head too much, a typical introvert. 🙂

I’ve been working on a scrapbook about Wraith. I’m thankful for some feedback from people at both jobs and I’m thankful that everyone has been so supportive of me. What are you thankful for?




I was beyond joyful on Tuesday evening when the Philadelphia Orchestra sent around an e-mail that someone donated $55 million and they were giving free tickets for Friday’s Cirque du Symphonie performance. I claimed a ticket printout and while it did say, “first come first serve,” I assumed that if I got there early, I could grab a seat.
Well, well, well. I did get done work early on Friday, ate lunch, went roller skating, then made my way to the Kimmel Center at 4 PM for the 7 PM show. Unfortunately, I had to claim the print out for an actual ticket and the ticket office told me that there was a slew of people at 1 PM and all of the tickets went. It sounded like it was what my uncle and his mother did back in April – get there super early for a free ticket.
I was disappointed and as I was walking back to Center City, I heard guitars blaring from Dilwork Park. I saw an MMR tent and asked what was going on. WMMR is sponsoring free performances on Friday night until July. Siravo was the band playing and they were awesome! I saw a heavy metal orchestra instead. 😉 I stayed for about an hour and had fun rocking out. 





I loved watching the youngest fan dance. 🙂 What started as disappointment turned to joy. When one goes with the flow, amazing things unfold. I had the chance to meet Siravo afterwards, get a photo with them, and had fun chatting.

Pride 2019

For the month of June, Philadelphia has special events throughout the month. However, the weekend leading up to 10 June, Philadelphia always hosts a block party and parade; with a weekend full of other LGBTQA events.

Last Friday (7 June), I decided to attend the block party. I enjoyed the decor and had to get my photo underneath the pink flags at one of the bars. I had fun posing with the flags and chatting with the others that were nearby, doing the same thing.

I decided to walk some more and see what else I could participate in.The mechanical shark was back, however, since the Wraith was still healing, I didn’t want to chance the mechanical shark. I saw Philadelphia Union was in attendance and sponsoring a community soccer tournament. As I was walking over to sign up, I saw a man walking around with a sign promoting free tickets to the Pride Festival on Sunday. I was curious and inquired.

He walked me over to the van and they were giving free HIV tests. I’m asexual and while after my assault I was free and clear, since Brandon died, I was always paranoid. I wasn’t tested six months after what he did to me, I was tested twice within the month and a half between the assault and college graduation. I wanted a peace of mind since I am trying to emigrate to Canada.

I had an hour wait, but when it was my turn, I took a deep breath and the counselor introduced himself. I told him my store, he pricked my finger, told me I was negative, handed me the bracelet to get into the Pride Festival, and handed me a card for counseling at the William Way Center. They specialize in therapy for the LGBTQA community, especially surrounding assault and corrective rape. It felt good to be listened to and validated; I have to call. Actually, after what happened to me, and while it didn’t happen on campus, I still reported it to campus police since people attend where it happened. I was set up with services at the university and someone connected with the LGBTQA community at WCU was also involved with counseling services. I felt safe, accepted, and understood. I was glad to be an ally in college and was glad to help others, but I have always found that the community has helped me too. It’s hard to put the feelings into words, but it’s another group I’ve felt acceptance in.

I didn’t get a chance to sign up for the soccer tournament after my test, but I enjoyed watching the others play. I did get to dance a little, but since I was starving and there wasn’t much gluten-free at the block party, I headed home. I was super excited for the Pride parade and festival on Sunday.


PRIDE! Sunday, 9 June 2019. I headed to the city early to enjoy the pre-parade festivities in the Gaybourhood. I love seeing the pre-parade festivities and this year was no different. Some of the businesses allowed me to photograph their employees getting ready for the parade and I captured a lot of joy. I also caught up with Lyft and one of the workers glittered me. That was fun and he agreed to a selfie too! I saw others glitter others, but I received more glitter from the actual parade. I also bought a Pride flag and wrapped myself in it.

Philly’s Pride parade was beautiful and very special. I still feel verklempt about the love and acceptance that was present. I am thankful more people are opened to the fact that everyone is different, but love is love. Human unconditional love is still the same regardless of the gender you are attracted to. We all need unconditional love. Momma Bears were also there; they each held signs saying, “Free Mom Hugs.” I gave one of the moms a big bear hug and it was so nice to see these moms giving hugs to people as they walked the parade route.

Oh! Gritty made an appearance and as I was waving goodbye to Gritty, I heard my name being called. I looked over and saw Evan, a guy I graduated high school with. I haven’t seen him in 11 years (almost 11 years to the day, we graduated from high school on 10 June 2008), he saw me in the crowd and ran over to me to give me a hug and t-shirt. He was working with the Flyers organization. It was so nice to see him and a total surprise!

The parade ended at one, but I needed to eat before the festival. I have learned that many festivals aren’t accomodating to those with food sensitivities, so I had a GF pizza lunch at Barra Rosa. After I finished, I decided to walk the 9 blocks to Penn’s Landing, where the festival was held.

On the way there, I saw a gay couple take photos with their Pride flag blowing behind them. I thought it was clever and after they were done, I walked over to them. I asked if they could get two of me. One of just me with the flag blowing behind me, and a creative one with the Wraith. I also met Armand and his partner, and Armand agreed to a fun photo with me. I wrapped him in my pride flag and we took a really nice picture together. I gave him, his partner, and the one who took my photo big hugs and wished them all a Happy Pride.

The Pride festival was just as amazing. I saw David Herrera perform and a Gloria Gaynor impersonator. I loved the Gloria Gaynor impersonator, she was fun! The crowd loved all of the performances. I decided to walk around a bit and met The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Choir. They were a joy to talk to and I’m going to their performance next week.

I decided to continue on to find some shade. Once I found shade, I also met Jim and Dylan. Dylan is a drag queen and he is just too much fun. He agreed to a photo with me and then also agreed to some solo photos. I asked him for his e-mail address and I ended up sending him the photos. Both Jim and Dylan were a blast to chat with.

I also had my picture taken in front of the Pride wall. I am going to make a scrapbook page titled “Tattooed with Pride” and add these two photos:

There are way too many photos to post to this blog, I took 400 photos last weekend. I want to share the album with you all: Pride 2019: 50 Years Beyond Stonewall | Vibrant and Loud

Happy Pride! All are welcomed to my blog and community; love is love. We all deserve to be treated with dignity and kindness.

Machine Gun Kelly | Hotel Diablo Tour | 4 June 2019

On Tuesday, 4 June 2019, Machine Gun Kelly performed at the Filmore in Philadelphia. I checked in at the Hotel Diablo and had a blast.

The opening performers were interesting; the first rappers/DJs were okay. I forget what they were called, but they would probably be workout music. The second performer was just a DJ and she ended her performance with “All the Small Things” by blink-182. It was funny to hear blink-182 before Machine Gun Kelly performed.


Machine Gun Kelly was amazing. I’m still in awe with his performance; he’s definitely a wild boy at heart. He’s a great showman. Oh, since he played Tommy Lee in the Dirt, he performed Shout at the Devil! Motley Crue was my first concert and it feels like it came full circle!


I still keep in touch with Kyle, the one I met at the show (see Thankful Thursday 6 June 2019). I had such a joyful night and singing along with MGK just lifted my heart. I love music and I love attending shows. I can’t wait to see MGK again in the future.

Thankful Thursday 13 June 2019

Happy Pride Month! I had the pleasure of attending Philadelphia’s Pride Month on Sunday and I am so glad that all love is accepted now. I am glad more people are open and are there to support the LGBTQA community. I think the world is a kinder place when we love everyone. I’m also thankful for what the LGBTQA community has done for me.

I’m thankful for friends and family. I’m thankful for all of the love and support they give me. What are you thankful for?