Siravo

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?

Thankful Thursday 6 June 2019

On this 75th anniversary of D Day, I want to thank our veterans worldwide for serving and protecting all of our countries from the Nazis and the Axis of Evil. I want to thank all who serve for all that they do for their respective countries and all of the sacrifices they make.

I’m thankful for all the kind people I met at the Machine Gun Kelly on Tuesday night. I arrived at the Filmore an hour before the doors were set to open and I’m glad I did because there was already a line! I made friends with the people behind me and they were a blast to chat with. They were from Bethlehem and the one was a Twiztid fan too. I loved chatting with them and about a half an hour before the doors were set to open, I really had to go to the bathroom. I think I accidentally glutened myself. I asked the group if they wouldn’t mind holding my spot and the one guy said he wouldn’t mind and he held my bag for me. It was a bag with my sweatshirt and Aquaphor. I came back, he kept my spot and held my stuff without touching anything. I was beyond grateful.

Once inside, I found myself a spot near the front. I started chatting with other people and I met a group from Ohio. Kyle was visiting a friend he met on XBox and this was their third time seeing Machine Gun Kelly. At one point I was really thirsty and I asked him if he grabbed a soda pop. He actually had beer; I said, “Oh, I was going to ask you how much a soda costs in here.” He surprised me and said, “what would you like? I got you.” I said a Sprite. He came back and we actually enjoyed the show together. He kept checking on me, to make sure I was hydrated enough. That was super kind and I’m learning to trust a bit more. I’m still cognizant of my surroundings, but I am slowly learning that most people aren’t Brandon – they aren’t out to drug and rape you. Of course, I pay attention to how people make me feel and if I get a weird vibe, I wouldn’t accept anything and would move away from them.  I’m thankful that I met some kind people on Tuesday night and that I had a blast.

I’m thankful for both jobs. The library set up a table for Pride and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Someone at my full-time job let me borrow her lotion for the Wraith. She absolutely loved the Wraith. 🙂

I’m also thankful for my friends and family. What are you thankful for?

Atlantic City | 25 May 2019

I welcomed in Memorial Day weekend with a day trip to Atlantic City. For the past two years, I’ve trekked down to Atlantic City to welcome in the summer and to catch some waves before my Asbury Park trip in July.

The weather was a bit cool and the water was a balmy 59 degrees. However, I am a fish in human skin and I couldn’t pass up swimming. I spent about 5 hours in the water. It felt great!

I packed lunch and snacks, but I decided to treat myself to dinner. Rainforest Cafe is celiac and allergy friendly, so I decided to check it out. I decided to take the tram car to Rainforest Cafe and had so much fun riding the tram, although the weather was turning chillier.

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When I arrived, there was an hour wait, similar to last year, but unlike last year I decided to wait it out. I didn’t want to go home hungry like last year. As I waited, I had someone take some photos of me. Their giftshop was cool.

My patience must have paid off because I was seated 35 minutes later. I’m glad I decided to wait because the food was delicious! The chef actually came out, took my order, and made sure to accomodate all of my food restrictions. I had a quinoa pasta with shrimp and a spicier sauce. Mom calls it shrimp fra diablo, but they called it something else. Although, I told him not to make it too spicy, the diablo part of the dish is always spicy. Mom’s version is the same way. The Rainforest Cafe also added zucchini and other veggies.

The frog mascot also came out and being the adult version of a child, I had to get a photo with frogger. The staff took my photo and I ended up buying a framed copy of the photo. I would totally recommend Rainforest Cafe. Delicious and fun atmosphere.

I left Atlantic City at 8 PM and arrived home by 11 PM. I had a full, but fun day.

Thankful Thursday 30 May 2019

I can’t believe May is almost over! This month has really flown by!

I’m thankful for Every thing life has to offer this week. I had a great week and I’m grateful.

On Tuesday, I saw Jac with no K at Dawson Street Pub and Jac was happy that I could make it. He bought me a Shirley temple and for the first half an hour I was the only one there, so he took my requests and serenaded me. 😳 It was a fun evening. See what happens when you show up for things? Mostly amazing opportunities.

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What are you thankful for?