Are you looking to connect you with diverse Queer communities across North America? Queer Communities: More than just sexual orientation
#Queer is more than just shorthand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans; Queer encompasses diversity in Sexual Orientation, Sexual Proclivities, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. That includes who we engage with sexually/sensually and how. From whether or not traditional romance is involved, to how long a relationship is expected to last and how many participants. It also includes who we are and how we experience & express our personal #gender.
As I begin another decade on this planet I’m seeking a new challenge. One that puts to good use my wide range of experience and training in service of diverse queer communities. Below is an introduction to my on-line life, a quick biography and summary of the various queer communities I do or have participated in. It finishes with my work history, including self-employment.
I also operate a number of web-sites and on-line shops; both for The Digital Gryphon LLC and personal interest. My on-line history goes back to CompuServe, Freenets and 2400 baud modems. Even before that, Dad introduced me to computers by letting me write code (in ‘basic‘) for the IBM-5150. Not very advanced; less like programming, more like writing a php script. But it was the beginning of my love/hate connexion to technology.
I was born in Toronto just over 60 years ago- the third of four children. I’m at least the third generation of a cross-border family. Mom was born in the USA (her Mother was from Canada and her father from the US) but moved to Canada to marry her first husband. Dad was born in Canada; his father was from Ireland while his Mom was born in Canada but raised by a relative in upstate New York. Mom’s older brother was born in Canada but moved to the USA to join the USAF during WW II – and raised two families (at different times) in the US.
Gay, Queer, Community Service
I came out as gay to my family and the world (well, the readership of the Chatham Daily News) in 1978. My paternal grandmother was never told, to honour a request from my family as recounted in My Coming Out Story on this blog. All I want, need, demand, is to be accepted as I am. And so I now self-identify as queer – indeed I have for many years.
During the early ’80s I, along with my partner at the time, discovered our interest in the leather/ fetish worlds. No reason to go into detail; it has influenced which organizations and charitable causes I support. While living in Toronto I was Chapter President in a local affiliate of an international leather/denim social club. In 1991 and ’92 I was the Finals Production Director for the community-based organization that ran the MrLeathermanToronto series of contests- selecting our representative to the annual International Mr Leather competition in Chicago while raising funds for local AIDS charities.
My activism started early; I ran for a seat on the Village Council in 1976 (did not win). I was a volunteer on the GYT Gay Youth Toronto peer-counseling phone line after moving back to Toronto in 1978. After the virus we’ve come to know as HIV erupted in my communities I volunteered with ACT The Aids Committee of Toronto and Casey House, AIDS Hospice. As well as taking my vows (see next section) and working on the MLT Competitions noted previously.
Many queer folk reject any organi- er institutional religious tradition; for some pretty good reasons. I was baptized in the United Church of Canada while young and again in The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto as an adult. Over the years I’ve studied a wide variety of spiritual traditions; nature-based ‘pagan’ as well as ‘major world religions’ and now identify as a “nontheist spiritual humanist“. I am ordained in the Universal Life Church, licensed to perform weddings in Ohio and available to bless queer unions or other events of personal significance.
My spirituality intersected with community work in the early ’80s in Toronto. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was founded in San Francisco in 1979. The Order spontaneously erupted in Toronto in 1981 and in 1983 I was accepted into the Order. Although the Toronto Order folded as a functioning organization in 1986 I have never renounced my vows to serve my community.
I was introduced to the Tarot by my partner in 1980; together with a roommate, we studied cards, astrology, numerology and other divination tools. I do not believe in fate or destiny in the sense that the future is predetermined. However, we are creatures of habit, influenced by our personal & cultural histories and our biology; with varying levels of self-awareness. So can we really exercise ‘free will‘? I offer card readings at GuncleTarot.com.
Traditional Employment History
I bring decades of experience in commercial and retail sales, marketing, management and systems. I entered the retail workforce right out of Secondary School, working at an independent camera store in a nearby small city. Returning to Toronto I took college courses in Business Management and moved off the shop floor to positions in Marketing and Purchasing. I moved to Columbus, OH in 1996 and have since worked in a wide variety of positions. More recently I completed two certificates at Columbus State College with an emphasis on digital photography and design. Download my resume for details.
The Digital Gryphon LLC:
I’ve published a chapbook of poetry & poetic prose I wrote while still living in Toronto, as well as the creative writings of two others through Digital Gryphon Publishing. I have been producing photographic images for over 40 years; my first assignment was for my high school yearbook. Currently my photography and graphic #designs are available on apparel & gift items, and as frame-able prints through authorized Production Partners.
You can reach me through many of the Social Media sites listed above.