Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PowerPoint or People?

In 2009, during Gen. Stanley McChrystal's tenure as senior commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, he viewed a PowerPoint slide that was meant to convey the American strategy there; however, it proved to be as indecipherable as streams of silly string.

"When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war," McChrystal said in the briefing, provoking plentiful laughter.

PowerPoint and the bureaucracy have combined again. And gay youth are the victims.

Instead of direct, interactive, effective training by knowledgeable trainers, foster parents and agency staff in New York learn about gay youth by bullet points read by an untrained staff member of an agency.

At AThousandMoms.Org, our contracts, under which we successfully trained thousands across New York, are gone. Our source of support to be a voice for LGBT youth is gone.

Stand up with us and for our youth. Please make a donation, whatever you can to www.AThousandMoms.Org.

Thank you.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wounds that time won't heal: Gay youth and minority stress

Little research has been conducted on the unique "minority stress" endured by LGBT/Q youth--and the far-reaching health consequences into adulthood.

In this paper by AThousandMoms.Org, we take a look at stress, trauma and their unique effects on gay youth. Dr. Bill Buffie, a consultant to AThousandMoms.Org, writes in the paper:

This sexual-minority status, as explained by Riggle and Rostosky, is defined by a culture of devaluation, including overt and subtle prejudice and discrimination, [one that] creates and reinforces the chronic, everyday stress that interferes with optimal human development and well-being.

LGBT individuals, stigmatized by negative societal attitudes directed at the essence of their being, struggle on a daily basis to balance the dual dangers of publicly engaging their need for equality and validation and remaining closeted to find some calm through an escape from public scrutiny. Many gay persons internalize such discrimination and prejudice. Fractured social-support mechanisms and minority-stress–associated low self-esteem contribute to a high prevalence of self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse, suicide, and risky sexual behavior.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A child is listening

A Lifetime movie several years ago, which itself took a decade or more to get made (deemed too controversial), underscored the ongoing crisis faced by LGBT/Q youth. "A Child Is Listening" remains as timely today as when the original real-life story occurred more than 30 years ago.

That's incredibly sad, given or dispute progress on marriage equality.

At my 40th high school reunion this spring, I shared my life story as a gay man and was heartened by the support, particularly from friends now the fathers of gay youth.

They gave generously to support AThousandMoms.Org. (You can, too.)

And read a youth's story on his homelessness... part of the epidemic in this country, and much worse around the world.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The gig economy: Fair or foul?

To promote my gig "business," I signed up with the web site, After four year of minimal results and microscopic remuneration, I've given this gig up.

For many, the gig economy offers promises of great money rewards and job freedom for people such as me unwilling and unable to work the 9-5 shift after decades of doing so.

Gig, to me, means translating old work to the unregulated smartphone, app world. The result is poor journalism (think Huffington Post and Examiner), cheap, unregulated taxi service (Uber), everday tasks for $5 (Fiverr) and on-the-fly accommodations (AirBNB). It all seems way more exploitative than entrepreneurial.

Read more.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Girls don't play hockey...wrong

Listening to the BBC News tonight, there came across an intriguing story of the first women's professional ice hockey league. I personally played hockey with very skilled, talented women, among the best players on our team.

The New York Riveters join teams in Boston, Buffalo, and Connecticut for the first season. The Riveters will play games at the beautiful Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Watch video.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A beautiful home

A Thousand Moms, our organization for gay homeless youth, gets support in a number of ways. One is through Hearthstone Homes, which beautifully restores charming houses.

Come to our next open house, in Rotterdam, Sunday. And help us spread the word! Thank you.

Click here!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Tiny houses, big solutions?

One of 14 tiny cabins at the Blue Moon Rising ecotourism retreat in McHenry, Maryland, the 250-square foot Kaya has a rustic reclaimed metal and wood exterior. Built by the folks at Hobbitat, the quaint interior features a living space, queen-bed nook, bathroom, and kitchen with a view of nature, all under a curved, corrugated metal ceiling. Rental rates per night range from $249 to $349. —ESN
Look inside the Kaya.

Tiny living, downsizing, right sizing, small living, micro living. Whatever you call it, this national trend is all about paring down living spaces and simplifying everyday life. A cable show devotes hours of programming weekly to a growing national movement. It's a concept yet to take root in the Capital District.

Fred Elia, president of the Schenectady-based Hearthstone Homes, specializes in "flipping" traditional houses and understands well the stagnant housing situation in the Rotterdam area. "Middle class families simply don't have savings to afford a down payment and often have heavy debt or other obligations that disqualify them from getting a mortgage. Ironically, these families pay more in rent than they would in mortgage payments, which would help them build much-needed equity."

See some great tiny houses.