Check out the great feature on Homoquotables in the Out Boulder eNewsletter!
Out Boulder connects the Boulder, Colorado LGBT community. They offer many programs, sponsor events, and educate the public about LGBT issues.
I posted about a letter a young man wrote to his teacher. In it he came out as gay – and she wrote a wonderful response. It was a touching exchange. Like anyone, I was impressed with the teachers comments – the perfect response to such a brave move. But what I kept coming back to was the letter. The student’s fears echoed the fears I had when I was struggling with coming out. He is in his teens, I was in my forties. It made me realize that, even though the overall view of homosexuality has shifted toward acceptance, there are still enough prejudice that makes coming out frightening.
- There is still the risk of family rejection – we know from the studies that an alarming number (40%) of homeless teens identify as LGBT. Of those youths, nearly all name rejection or abuse from parents and families as the cause of their estrangement.
- There are still no legal protections from workplace discrimination for lesbian, gay or bisexual workers in 29 states.
- There are still no legal protections from workplace discrimination for transgender workers in 34 states.
- There are accounts of harassment, vandalism, assault and murder of LGBT citizens often in the media – and it is estimated that a large number go unreported.
- Gay teens are bullied - Dr. Scott Quasha, a Brooklyn College School Psychology professor was quoted in the ‘Ladies Home Journal as saying:
- “Despite recent cultural shifts, kids still get the overwhelming message from society that homosexuality is not acceptable. It’s not uncommon to hear fierce condemnation from politicians and preachers as they debate gay civil rights. Homosexuality is compared to incest, bestiality, even violent crime. This trickles down into the schools, where bullying occurs. A gay child is an easy target for classmates looking to make trouble.
- Gay teens are at a higher risk of suicide, and many of those appear to be linked to bullying and family rejection.
In my own coming out process, I had huge struggles. I carried a huge weight. I, like the young English student, was -
“afraid of certain people finding this weight. I’m afraid of them finding the weight and thinking differently of me. Thinking negatively of me. Hating me. That’s why I carry it. I just don’t want to be hated. Or even worse, kicked out of people’s lives”.
I had a beautiful wife of 20 years. I had two teenage kids. I had a best friend who referred to gay men as “fucking faggots” and lesbians as “dikes”. I had another good friend who referred to anything he felt was unmanly as “gay”, and who referred to the idea of gay relationships as making him want to “puke”. I had a father and two brothers to epitomized the stereotype of “manliness”. I watched television and movies depict gay characters as either conniving, back stabbing jerks, or hand flapping, whimpering and dependent simpletons who couldn’t open a jar of peanut butter by themselves. But most of all, I had me.
My own internal homophobia was the biggest hurdle. I honestly didn’t harbor any bad feelings about other gay people. I admired them. But in coming out to myself, I struggled. How can I be gay? How will that change me? Would I need to learn about antiquing and start listening to Madonna, who I don’t really care for? Will I need to dress differently? Talk differently? Would I have to move to a ‘gay area’?
Looking back, these thoughts that overwhelmed me about myself were the same hate-filled stereotypical garbage that the religious right spews daily. I had listened to their lies for so many years – and although rejecting them in my world view, I embraced them in my self view.
It took me a long time to come to terms that living openly doesn’t’ mean I’m “Gay Dan”. It means I’m “Dan”. For 45 years I answered to the name, but I wasn’t really me… not the whole me.
I came out slowly. Everyone I told was wonderful. Some were shocked and some weren’t, but all were accepting. Even my wife, although devastated at the time, was supportive of me being true to myself. My homophobic friends hugged me and told me they loved me and respected me. My family didn’t change one thing…. they just kept loving me like they always had.
Coming out was tough – but so worth it! I am married to an amazing man. I’m starting a new LGBT business. I have 2 amazing children. My ex-wife is my best friend and champion. I have acceptance from everyone i care about.
But the best thing of all… I’m finally “Dan”.
Via Press release:
Homoquotables, the leading gay-lesbian greeting card company, is expanding its product line and adding national distribution.
“Since news of our tasteful line of gay and lesbian greeting cards was first announced, requests for our products have soared,” saidDan McLellan. “My focus now is on making my cards more accessible. Two stores on the East Coast and one here in Boulder are stocking them. I’ve also found a way to give customers a much quicker turnaround.”
McLellan has made good on his promise to expand his line of cards. His website,www.Homoquotables.com, now carries cards for gays and lesbians both, and has increased the number photographs to choose from to 24.
“We changed printers, too, and the quality of the printing has gone from good to exceptional,” he says proudly.
Homoquotables.com came to national attention a few months ago as a site offering gays and lesbians a place to find that rare product, a romantic, tender card to express deep feelings for a mate. The interest in these cards is booming, and McLellan believes that stores across the country will soon be stocking them.
The cards showcased on Homoquotables.com are rare in the marketplace. The full line of 24 cards is targeted not only to gays and lesbians in love with their partners, but also to family members who want to send their gay and lesbian loved ones appropriate wedding, anniversary, and birthday cards. Loving sentiment is captured in stunning black and white photography and all cards are printed on high quality paper. Online cards can be customized to suit the buyer’s needs. Click here to view and buy individual gay cards and other gift items from Homoquotables.com.
“Right now our cards are being carried in Giovanni’s Room in Philadelphia, Blue Stocking in New York, and Boulder Bookstore. I’m hoping to interest a national chain so that gays and lesbians and their families across the country will have easy access to tasteful cards. I want people to be able to pick up a card for a gay or lesbian loved one’s birthday, or wedding, or any other occasion, without any hassle.”
McLellan welcomes inquiries from all stores, local as well as national, inviting interested parties to contact him. Cards purchased for store display feature high quality photographs on the face and famous quotations on the inside. Click here to view and order cards for store display. To contact McLellan, please click here.
“I’m sort of working from the East Coast and the West Coast toward the middle,” McLellan explains. “I’ve also had inquiries from Britain, France, and Germany, so who knows? Homoquotables could go world-wide!” He grins engagingly, and adds, “Of course I have another full-time job right now, so that may take a few more months.”
Homoquotables.com also hosts McLellan’s blog, which he says puts a positive spin on today’s news that concerns the gay and lesbian community. “Right now I’m doing a lot of blogging about marriage equality and how that is progressing through the courts,” he explains. I want people to be able to keep up with the issues, but I work really hard to keep the site upbeat.”
About Dan McLellan
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Dan McLellan has been a speech language therapist for the past 25 years. He holds a Masters degree in speech language pathology from the University of Colorado, and works mostly with autistic children and children who have genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, or similarly severe conditions that inhibit their speech.
Married for 23 years and the father of daughter Taylor, 19, and son Jackson, 16, Dan came out five years ago. He and his ex-wife, Kay, divorced amicably, and in addition to her career as an industrial designer, Kay assists Dan with the website. Dan and Michael married in March 2012. Michael is Canadian and he and Dan are dealing with immigration issues, since the Defense of Marriage Act does not allow Dan to sponsor Michael in this country. Dan and Michael live in Boulder, Colorado.
Heading out to Boulder Pride – I’ll be selling Homoquotables Cards and enjoying a beautiful day. Hope to see you there! I’ll be posting pictures throughout the day.
Our cards are now available at the Proud Bookstore in Renoboth Beach, DE! If you are there on vacation, stop by!
Homoquotables Gay themed cards can also be purchased online!
Here is the article
I had a short break between clients and took a 10 minute walk in an open space area close to Boulder, CO. in addition to these guys, I saw a blue heron take off, a hawk soaring overhead, about 5 redwing blackbirds and one very cute guy fishing. Not bad!
Facebook has launched same sex married icons to its timeline feature. Read about the update on Purple Unions.
I just updated my timeline….
Waiting for equality is so hard – My husband and I were talking last night – It appears the Supreme Court will be hearing one of more of the cases that have found DOMA unconstitutional by my next spring. I doubt it will happen that fast, but would’t it be great if we got federal recognition by 2013?
As we are scraping up the money for fall semester for my husbands tuition, it seems pretty unfair that we are paying triple what a married heterosexual couple pays. And when he graduates, what happens then? His visa is tied to being in school – there are other options we can look at, but it seems pretty unfair that we have to. We meet all the criteria to apply for permanent residency for him, but because we are both men, we would be denied because of DOMA.
We are getting near the finish line – the stakes are high for so many of us – the closer we are, the harder it gets to wait!
I came across this picture on Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook. It really struck me because coming out is such a difficult thing. I imagine the first person you do come out to shapes the process for many of us.
For me, it was my friend, Beth. I was older (45) and was married with 2 teenage kids. My marriage was good – my wife and I were very close and had a great partnership. We were aligned in our goals for how to raise the kids, we shared all the responsibilities that goes with raising a family, we were the best of friends. But I had finally worked though some tough issues and accepted what I had known at a deep level since I was very young. I was gay.
I was still not comfortable with the idea, so telling someone else was really frightening. We were on a hike together. Beth had known I had been struggling with anxiety and depression – she had been an amazing support. We walked and talked for a bit… just small talk. The I just said, “I need to tell you something, and I’m scared.” She replied, “Whatever you have to say, its ok.” I said, “I’m gay”. She didn’t even pause and said, “I imagine that feels both scary and freeing to say.” I started to pour out all the mayhem it was going to cause in my life. She stopped me and said, “That comes later, let’s talk about how good it must feel to be honest with yourself”.
I loved Beth before, but after that, she became one of the most important people in my life.
Who was the first person you told? What was their reaction?