It's really hard to believe that we are in the eighth month of yet another year that has gone by in the blink of an eye. In my past columns, I have encouraged you to motivate, enhance and inspire your level of awareness of self. This month I'm encouraging you to live a little and have some fun. Try things that you've never tried before. Do things that you've dared yourself to do and meet people outside your normal status quo.
August is an extremely good month for challenge, and when I say challenge, I mean reaching for thoughts and emotions that will help us to see who we really are. When we get so caught in judging others, we have very little time to see ourselves for who we really are. We must see ourselves as whole and complete people willing to find peace, harmony and self-acceptance no matter what our shortcomings and fears might be. My advice to you is that you must ask questions of yourself before you can ask questions of others. As summer starts to wind down, reflect on all things that have happened this year, whether good or bad and ask yourself what have I learned from all these situations. How has my soul experience been changed and what can I do to continue my year of upwardness by doing the things that enhance my greatness. I wish for you an uplifting end of Summer and a Fall that will bring you great comfort and peace.
July was an extremely busy month that I would be remiss by not mentioning the following groups and activities. A really big shout out goes to the entire Windy City Pride Committee. OUTSTANDING JOB ... The Windy City Pride has been existence for more than 10 years. This group hosted everything from an awards breakfast that I served as master of ceremonies for at the Hyatt Hotel to poetry slams, health screenings and a wonderful park festival. I made my rounds to most of the events and found them all showing a lot of energy. Please continue to support the Windy City Pride efforts. Get involved and/or write a check! This group really needs financial support. Let's put our hearts, minds, bodies and souls into the 2006 efforts.
Now on to the mailbag ... .
Dear Chat Daddy,
I am a 38-year-old female, educated, well-traveled, and single. Recently I met someone who is passionate, caring, and concerned about me as a person. This wonderful person that has come into my life is female. This is my first relationship with someone of the same sex and I must admit that I am thoroughly enjoying it. Here is the problem, Chat Daddy, my 'girlfriend' wants to marry me. While I don't doubt that she is the one for me, I am faced with coming out to my family about my sexuality and that I will possibly be marrying my same-sex partner.
What should I do?
— Going to the Chapel and I'm Going to get Married
Dear Going to the Chapel,
WOW! Let me start by saying that you need to be sure that this is love and not mere fascination or 'curiosity.' Often we are so desperate to be loved that we fill the void with the first relationship that feels good. Make sure you know who you are and what you want out of life. I am in no way saying that this relationship is not genuine, just be certain before you take a big step like telling your family about your new 'girlfriend' and that she has proposed marriage.
Now, on the issue of marriage ... I firmly believe that the sanctity of marriage is strictly between man and woman but in the case of alternative relationships the word commitment speaks to the heart from the heart. In this situation I think that you should be entitled to the same rights as married couples, just not using the sacred word marriage. In closing, I wish you strength, courage, and wisdom to seek out your true feelings, and if it is real love, your heart will tell you. Keep me posted.
— Chat Daddy
Dear Chat Daddy,
I'm a 32-year-old Black male from the Hyde Park area. I've been engaged to a very lovely woman for the past three years. I love her very much and would do anything for her. We are getting married next spring, but there's one problem that I must address. I'm very much attracted to men. No one knows, but often times I want and desire the company of a man. Over the course of our four-year relationship I have cheated on her twice, both times with a man. I love her so much that I don't really know what to do. I truly desire to get married and have kids some day, but do I ignore my feelings or what?
Help a brother out.
— Who Am I Exactly?
Dear Who Am I Exactly,
You know exactly who you are, you really need to stop playing games ... . Get yourself ready for a good reading without a chaser. I need for you to go get a full-length mirror and place it in front of a closet door in your house. Open the closet door, go in, say you're name three times as you close the door, and then proceed to open the door facing the mirror and COME OUT OF THE CLOSET. Keep practicing this technique until you are comfortable enough to let this woman know you are gay. In this day and age of acceptance, why ruin someone else's life when you really don't want them in the first place. There are plenty of same-sex couples that I know who are committed to each other and have children, who are open and honest about their relationship with family and friends. Yet again, this plays up the old issue of down-low or bisexual brothers.
Believe me, the world is truly a small place and you never know who's zoomin' who. Come clean, be honest and let the relationship go from there. You might be surprised at her response.
Whatever you do, wrap it up!
— Chat Daddy
Dear Chat Daddy,
I'm in distress over my boyfriend. He is 25 years old and on his way to prison for a couple of years. We've been dating since high school. Throughout the years I've stood by his side no matter what. The reason he is in this trouble is because he sold drugs and never wanted a decent job like I have. Now that he's going to jail, he wants me to promise that I will stay faithful to him and when he gets out he's going to get a decent job and try living better. I don't know if I believe him or if he's just talking because he's scared? I really love him but I'm torn.
— My Thug Love
Dear My Thug Love,
Young love is really cute, but when found guilty, it's time to rethink your game plan. You have stood by this man through thick and thin and all he can do is leave you for prison with promises of getting and doing better. How old does one have to be before you realize you could have done better before the mistake was made?
Now, this is your choice and decision and I'm honored that you wrote me for some advice and here it goes ... . If you love someone, set them free and if they return to you in a decent amount of time, it's meant to be. From your letter, he'll be away for a couple of years. You are young and have a whole world out there waiting for you! Don't make promises that you will most likely not be able to keep.
To all my brothers behind bars ... jobs are very hard to find out here in the real world and having a record does not make it any better.
Homeboy, do me a huge favor, pray on this and follow your heart, mind and soul. By the way, don't you tell Boo I told you to leave him until he is behind bars, because I don't want Boo looking for me!!
— Chat Daddy
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .