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19 November 2015 @ 09:42 pm
...But today, for the first time ever rainbow_ark just entered the realm of 3-digit community ratings, at #946. This is with a total of 6334 'not-dead' communities, which is even more amazing because before lj revised their definition of what constitutes a 'living' LiveJournal, they were on track to only having about 5000 'not-dead' communities by this point.

The reason why I don't know how I feel about this is you know, and I know how little tangible activity has actually taken place here this year. I suspect we'd be in the top 50 if we had the activity of just a year or two ago. Our poor little lj keeps limping along :) I just told Renee a couple of minutes ago after I showed her the number, that I can die in peace now :) This is technically our second time in the top 1000. About a week and a half ago, we made it to #1000.

Anyway, how've you all been? I've been settling in at my new work location in Reston, in a rather gorgeous room with a view. The commute continues to be terrible, and I'm going to be revising my blurb soon about my quest to find a friendly fur to stay with one or two nights a week during the winter months.

I had what I hope to be the second to last procedure done on one or the other eyes today, a YAG capsulotomy on my left lens implant. The final will be a vitrectomy on that same eye, probably in the spring.

I'm delighted with how mild the winter has been so far. We've only made 3 fires, and usually by this point we've had at least a dozen. We might have enough wood after all, without buying any.

Dad is doing very well after his hip replacement.

Thing are going pretty well. What y'all been up to?
08 November 2015 @ 07:06 am
Wait until you see what I've been doing!! :D

I've been working with one of our newest members here, who has spent countless hours putting this mindboggling thing together, and now I'm taking their work and coding it all out, and making a whole new portion to our website.

Wish I could tell you more, but it's a secret! XD

I guarantee, it's going to blow everyone away. I am so SO excited about this, and it's been such a joy to work with this individual at every stage to get it to exactly where it needs to be. I'm breaking for breakfast in a short time, but I'm going to hit it again today, and into a few evenings next week, and am going to try to go live with it by no later than Friday if we can.
01 November 2015 @ 09:14 am
I'm getting ready to head out the door here in a short time.

My dad is going in for hip replacement surgery early tomorrow morning and my mom needs assistance in his absence because of her stroke back in April. I'll be staying down there until Wednesday afternoon, and then back to work on Thursday.

This will be the longest I've been without Renee since we were married in '97.

My internet will be sporadic at best.

Everyone be good to each other until we meet again.
Black, Gifted and Whole: Creating a Voice for Gay Men

Guy Anthony is a man who wants to make a difference. We all do to a degree, but Guy is taking his dreams a step further.

"I’ve never felt so right about something in my life and I feel right about this," he said when talking about his non-profit, Black, Gifted & Whole. "I prayed about this, I meditated and I just do the work."
The organization, founded just a few months ago, seeks to help young Black gay men matriculate to institutions of higher education, particularly HBCUs.

"I went to a performing arts high school in Detroit, Michigan," Guy said. "I was out of a very bad neighborhood, a very bad city. I really wanted to do things that were not necessarily cool to my friends and I wished that I had a mentor that reflected the life that I was living, you know like a gay man. As someone that was molested and sexually assaulted, I knew early on what my sexuality was. Growing up in a very religious family -- obviously homosexuality is not smiled upon, so a lot of the depression that I suffered and post-traumatic stress trauma that I acquired over the years became something."

Guy felt suffocated, and made the decision to attend the University of Michigan. He did not see people who "looked like him," and there were no coalitions that represented what he wanted to do for the LGBT community.

In his words, he knew he had to lead.

"[My friends and I] were watching Black Girls Rock and we said, 'You know what, there's nothing celebrating Black gay men,'" Guy recalls. "We're more than the handbags that you see us carry on television. We're more than that. We're intellectual. We're nuanced. I want to ensure that we give a more balanced representation of who Black gay men are."

So earlier this year, Guy, with the help of his three friends, decided to create an initiative that seeks to help Black gay men be successful. The organization, based in Washington, DC, serves as a resource for those who may feel lost.

"If we can help any Black man in terms of his sexuality, who is sort of unsure of what he wants to do with his life then we definitely want to be those people," Guy said.

Black, Gifted & Whole works with Gay-Straight Alliances at various high schools and HBCU institutions to help facilitate the transition from high school to college for many young LGBT males of color. Guy goes to high schools and meets with students, particularly young Black gay men. He speaks to them, offers them words of encouragement, and talks to them about their future educational plans.

"We're very strategic. There's a school in DC called School Without Walls. They are one of the top schools that had an influx of gay students. I made a connection with their Gay-Straight Alliance director and said, 'Hey, I want to come to your school. Do you have any young Black gay men that attend? He said yes. Myself and my vice president spoke to them. There were two young Black gay men in there and one of them wanted to go to Howard."

School Without Walls is one of many institutions that Black, Gifted & Whole plans to reach.
"My hope is that I'm able to go from school to school, with the help of the superintendent or the chancellor, to get these kids into college" Guy said. "That's how we are able to get into these schools and talk to these Black gay men. They are desperately looking for other Black gay men to mentor them. A lot of times, they don't have voices, they don't have outlets at home to talk about the things that are bothering them. We are those people. We have gone through the trenches and have gone through anything they can imagine. That's our aim."

On Nov. 6, the non-profit will host its very first charity event. The desire is to raise money to help eight Black gay men pay for books and tuition for their first year of college.
"Our fiscal goal is $21,000 for the scholarships next year. We also want to ensure that we are providing money for books because maybe you have to work two jobs and you got tuition paid off, housing paid for, but you need just a little bit of extra money for your books.

For more information on Black, Gifted & Whole, visit www.blackgiftedwhole.org. To donate, visit its GoFundMe page.

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/wellness-empowerment/black-gifted-and-whole-creating-a-voice-for-gay-men#ixzz3pxiP7Qhu
...from a short time ago on Twitter: @crashheartlives

"This was quite uplifting :3 RT @shino_otto: Dearest Queer Person! Long read, but worth it!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-prager/every-lgbtq-person-should_b_8232316.html … #LGBTQ #lgbthistory"

Dearest Queer Person,

Chances are you don't even know that you are holy, or royal or magic, but you are. You are part of an adoptive family going back through every generation of human existence.

Long before you were born, our people were inventing incredible things. Gifted minds like the inventor of the computer Alan Turing and aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont live on in you. The imprint that bold and brilliant individuals like Lynn Conway and Martine Rothblatt (both transgender women alive today) made on modern technology is impossible deny as present-day engineers carry their torch in the creation of robots and microprocessors. More recently speaking, one of the co-founders of Facebook publicly acknowledged his identity as a gay man, as did the current CEO of Apple.

Read more...Collapse )
01 October 2015 @ 09:03 pm
MFF is December 4th through the 6th this year.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to go -- no time off from work, and needing to take it easy financially for a few months after being at RainFurrest.

But the reason I was wondering is, we've had inquiries into if RA will have a presence there this year, because of an interest in meeting us. I know there have been various ones in times past at MFF who have agreed to distribute RA flyers and such, which has been helpful, but I was thinking more in terms of a room party or gathering in a common area, if it was in fact too late to get a panel onto the schedule.

If you are going to MFF, and you would like to help represent RA, I would like to head up your support team though I'm not physically able to be there myself. I could ship you materials, which are either general, or even specific in nature depending on your needs. Just contact me at jarrell@myrainbowark.com and we can talk more about it.
28 September 2015 @ 08:00 am

To all my furry LGBT brothers & sisters with love...
26 September 2015 @ 06:59 pm

Renee and I just had a delightful lunch with Xedrik and husband, Brett. This is the first (and hopefully not last) meet of the east coast and west coast raccoon admins of Rainbow Ark. :D

Xeddy has a better one in his camera of the 4 of us.

Thank you guys! This made my whole trip!
21 September 2015 @ 03:23 pm
I'm at work today and tomorrow. Then Renee (poetigress) and I fly out Wednesday morning after a connecting flight in Atlanta, to Seattle!

If there is anyone from here going to RainFurrest, I would sure like to meet you, or for some of you, to see you again. Renee is this year's writing GOH, and I'm tagging along. I'll be attending many of her panels, and a good portion of time when I'm not with her, I'll be watching her table in the dealers room where she'll have some books for sale.

Look for an older overweight guy with a little silver feather dangling from my left ear. I'll probably have on either a Hawaiian shirt, or raccoon shirt, jeans, and sandals.

I do hugs as long as that's okay with you.

I'm so happy that I'll be meeting for a couple hours with the west coast procyon, Xedrik and his husband too. :D

Our cat Bijoux has been noticing all the extra bustling that's taking place at home with the suitcase and all, and she knows we're getting ready to leave, so she's been extra clingy. We have a neighbor coming in to feed her, and they've taken care of her before, so it'll be fine.

EDIT :: Leaving for BWI in just 2 hours from now!
Be good to each other. See you later :)
11 September 2015 @ 10:30 am
Just sayin'...