Friday, May 27, 2016

NC humor

So my dentist in NC asked me how I was enjoying my short stay in NC.  "It's going well!" "What have you done in NC while you've been here?" he asked. "I've gone into every women's bathroom in the state," I said.  He laughed so hard he almost fell off his padded stool.

Crazy times in NC.

Hate-filled times in NC.

Time to take the state back to the 21st century rather than the 1950s.

Pax! B

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Make NC Great Again!

Even though I now live in the state of OR, I must confess that my heart aches for what is going on in the state politics that is NC. I'm not surprised. I am sad.  I am not surprised because I remember watching when the General Assembly in 2010 pass a bill to amend the NC Constitution, to deny us marriage equality, watching Dems and Republicans alike sign on with it, knowing that then-Gov. Perdue couldn't veto it (not in her powers). I remember phone bank calls and attending rallies in RDU area, only to drive 10 miles out of the bubble of Chapel Hill to see the pro-Amendment 1 votes to deny us marriage equality. We were the last state in the South to enact something so vile. .

Now we lead the nation in a more vile bill, HB2, that discriminates against a large minority group. The General Assembly Republicans know what they are doing: they are driving out their base voter for 2016.  This is all about getting out the vote in 2016, driving out by rallies and phone calls, etc.  But voting matters.  This is how these men and women got into power: by the people who voted for them.

So let's make NC great again.



Welcome, UMC Folks who are LGBTQI and In and Out of the Closet!

Dear LGBTQI United Methodist Pastors: As an out gay pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), serving St. Andrew’s in Portland, Oregon, and as a former faculty member of Duke Divinity School (a United Methodist Church seminary), welcome to Portland! There are many out LGBTQI clergy in the Portland area who are praying for a change in your Book of Discipline that will allow LGBTQI people to be out and ordained, or marry the one you love. Here, kissing on a city street is permitted. Here, unlike North Carolina, citizens can use public restrooms without being asked about their gender or gender identity. Here, you can go see a movie and hold hands with little fear of violence; go to a concert and put your arm around your date; and hug each other after a Portland Timbers or Thorns soccer game goal with no one staring. There are so many bars and restaurants that are LGBTQI friendly that going to a specific gay or lesbian bar is unnecessary to find community. If coming to a welcoming city is a new or unique experience, consider trying this: breathe. Set aside whatever remnant of your LGBTQI closet is holding you back from stepping out, and breathe. Go to one of our many beautiful parks and breathe. Walk. Run. Live. Love. Feel free to sing, dance, shout, and tell your story. Be the person our Creator created, and the one that Jesus loves unconditionally.

One last word as you make your case with allies for marriage equality and recognition of being who you are? Courage!

Pax, Brett

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NC causes me pain as a man who is gay

From afar I am watching the "going-ons" in NC, and I am sad and mad.  Having lived in NC for 25 years "plus", I came to love the state for its then-progressive ways, the culture of storytelling, food, and the geography.  Some of my family members still live in NC.

Today, I am angry in the way that the hate-filled NC Republican and apparently some Democratic legislators are voting in the House in overturning Charlotte's action to practice non-discrimination when it comes to LGBTQ people. Currently the bill is before the NC Senate.  I know the outcome already.

From sitting in my office in Portland, OR, with a unisex bathroom or 2 down the hall, the actions of the legislature is hate-filled and seems crazy.  Living in a state (OR) in which there is a more libertarian "live and let live" attitude, this incredible move to push NC backwards seems crazy.  But, as one of my clergy friends said in a sermon years ago, "When the 1950s come back, NC will be all set for its return."



Friday, March 11, 2016

Working on the only gay Presbyterian pastor in the state of OR article

Still working on the article...going to download it here first...stay tuned!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meeting More and More Gay Dads in Portland, OR

There is the presence of more gay dads in Portland than there were in NC.  While I knew some closeted gay dads in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, I'm still overwhelmed (in a good way) by hearing the story of dads who are gay with kids spoken so, well, openly in Portland, OR.

It is all good.

Pax, B

Friday, December 18, 2015

One Year Anniversary!

It has been one year since I left NC and moved to my new/old home state of OR.  I was actually born in Brooklyn, NY and raised from ages 4-12 in Maplewood, NJ, but teenage years were in Portland and Beaverton.

After 25 years in Chapel Hill, it is good to be back in OR.  Though I miss friends and family, the land, the culture, of NC, I do not miss the politics and the sense of "stickiness" in my life. I felt stuck and unable to grow any further.  My sense of well-being was not advancing but slowing down mightily.

Oregon has been a place where I have thrived because of family, friends, the work I do, the people I work with, and the surrounding culture, both land and the arts.

Thankful, I am, for the good people of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.  While I am still the only out gay Presbyterian pastor in the state of OR, it is not so lonely here with great people, and a good group of gay men I hang out with from time to time.

Living a life of gratitude.