The Zombie Epidemic

I had a chance the other night to go see World War Z at the theater starring Brad Pitt. I thought the movie was pretty decent as it kept me on the edge of my seat for most of its running time. But let’s face it, doesn’t it seem like lately that zombies are popping up everywhere in television shows and movies? Why is it that everyone is so fascinated by them now?

A quick google search showed me that zombies have been around for much longer than I thought. Their first real appearance goes all the way back to a film called White Zombie that was released in 1932. But it really wasn’t until George Romero released a 1968 movie named Night of the Living Dead that they became infamous. Ever since then, zombies have become more and more popular and been simply known as “the living dead”.

Over the past few decades their notoriety has been gained through movies such as 28 Days Later, Resident Evil, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, I am Legend, and most recently Warm Bodies. And there’s even an extremely popular show about them now entitled The Walking Dead that has millions and millions of fans watching it.

After watching World War Z and many of the other movies and TV shows which portray zombies, I can see why people are drawn so much to them. The most obvious reason to me is that zombies are people too. They were someone’s friend, husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, etc. Placing myself in some of those situations I have seen in these movies and television shows, I really can’t imagine what I would do if my sister or my partner or one of my closest friends had become one. In the movies, when I have seen those situations, the people usually shot their loved ones in the head with terrible regret or they get bitten while trying to do the right thing and become one of them too. It’s a horrible dilemma to think about and I’m sure that’s one of the top reasons why people are so intrigued by watching a zombie invasion. I believe another big reason for zombies growing popularity is this end of the world concept that has been growing fear in so many people lately. In World War Z, most of the human population is decimated by this zombie plague. And that’s only one way that films and TV shows are showing how the end of the world might happen. Often it’s also shown as an asteroid about to hit the earth, or severe weather outbreaks from global warming, or some other deadly disease, or Revelations from the Bible. In all of them, the majority of the human race is lost and I’m sure most everyone who has ever watched any of these portrayals on the big or small screen has imagined themselves as one of the last survivors on Earth. And of course, a final reason why many people probably like zombies is just because they think they’re cool. Television and movies have become so realistic and graphic lately with blood and violence that zombies are a very good way now to shock audiences as they chase, jump on, and rip and tear the flesh off of someone. The truth is I really don’t like zombies that much because of all of this. I always get nightmares when I go to sleep after watching something they were in. When I watched the first two episodes of The Walking Dead in Season One, I got next to no sleep and that became the end of my tuning into that show. So you’re probably wondering now why I decided to go see World War Z given this fact. I don’t really have a good answer for you, except for the fact that I love movies especially those big budget flicks that come out during the summer like this one.

The bottom line I’m trying to make with all of this though is that with all the diseases that are running rampant these days, with many labs doing terrible animal testing, and governments secretly working on biological warfare, it’s extremely possible that something like a zombie epidemic could happen. And if it ever does, I just hope that a rapture will occur just before it’s outbreak, and that God will choose to take me during it. I really don’t want to see my nightmares become reality before my eyes. Regardless, I think I’m going to pray now that I don’t have a nightmare tonight and that zombies will always just remain something to frighten us in a theater or at home on a television screen.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Gay Marriage Supreme Court Ruling

After a long battle and many months of speculation, the Supreme Court has finally made their ruling on two landmark battles over gay marriage. Not only can California same sex couples legally marry again, but all married same-sex couples in the country are entitled now to federal benefits with the Court’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The real question though for most proponents of gay marriage is probably going to be what happens next for all those other states in the country where gay marriage isn’t legal. On some level, I guess I happen to be lucky in the eyes of many of those gay and lesbian people who live in those states, given that I already live in a place where same sex marriage is legal. What those people and many others as well still aren’t getting though, is that regardless of how many states approve gay marriage, and even if it somehow becomes a constitutional amendment one day, it won’t erase the racism and prejudice that many people still have in the United States.

So despite the fact that I live in a very proactive state which approved same sex marriage many years ago, if anyone spent enough time here, they would most likely see how there are still way too many individuals who despise gays and lesbians. I hear people all the time shouting angrily the words “fag”, “faggot”, or “dyke” to someone else. I often catch wind of news reports where a hate crime occurred with a gay individual or kids in school have being taunted and bullied just for acting slightly flamboyant or being suspected of being gay.

The sad reality is that I would go so far as to say that every law could be put into place which would create equal rights and protections for gays and lesbians but it still wouldn’t matter. There is far too great of a number in the United States who are currently raising their children to be hateful towards people like me. Even worse, as much as I love God and believe that the salvation of Christ exists, there are a ton of Christians who are driving much of this hate. Just recently, my sister who lives near Nashville, Tennessee, said that my 11 year old twin nephews were hanging out with a kid their own age who comes from a Christian family, and that he said he hated “fags’ and that God hated them too. She made sure to tell my nephews after that to not bring their gay Uncle up in conversation to him or anyone. It makes me sad that my family has to hide in fear of who I am just because of the hate that persists out there.

I’m happy though that the Supreme Court took a positive stand and steps in the right direction for gay and lesbian people with their ruling yesterday. But I believe the real work needs to be done on a more grass roots level. I’ve said this before in previous writings and I’ll say it again. Most of the resistance to embracing any legislation that supports same sex marriage is because of this hate that people have towards those with my sexuality. What’s ironic is that most of those driving this hate use God and the Bible as their weapons of division but what they are continuously being blinded from seeing is that God is about unconditional love and nothing else. Anyone who says otherwise, is usually just talking from a place of fear and ego.

Martin Luther King Jr. had it right when he gave unconditional love in the face of hate, violence, and anger coming at him. He led a wonderful movement of many people who supported him in this. Eventually, most of American’s hearts turned towards equal rights for men and women of color when they saw the destruction and loss of life that came from their hate. I have been taking a page in his book because of this, and I do my best today to love everyone equally, even those who may spit in my face, call me a “fag”, tell me I’m going to hell, or that God hates me. I realize they just learned this from someone else and know no better. Maybe I can be the first one to show them what real love is all about. And when enough gays and lesbians can practice this concept of loving everyone equally, including even those who look at them with hate, then maybe we’ll get a truly United States. One where it doesn’t discriminate on gender, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, disability AND sexual orientation on any level and one where there doesn’t have to be a battle anymore for us to gain equal rights to get there.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Open Relationships”

There are two words that are becoming more and more widely used in the gay culture today and they are “open relationships.” Unfortunately, those same two words are also undermining a road the gay community is already trying to take in gaining the full right to marriage.

I first came across the term “open relationship” a long time ago when I was active within a subsection of the gay community known as the “bear culture”. There, I began meeting couples in those circles who had “agreements” with their partner on what type of intimacy they could share with others outside of their relationship. Boundaries were made by each of those couples as to whether kissing, fondling, cuddling, or various depths of sexual acts with others was ok. Unfortunately, like this bear community which is all male, much of the rest of gay males also seem to be accepting these types of relationships as a normal and healthy option.

What’s sad about this is that I don’t see this happening so much in any other community that is not gay male based. Over the years, I have had met many couples in those other types of communities who have spent several decades or more monogamously with each other. There was never any “outside playing” going on, and if there was, it was usually considered adultery. So while a large amount of people are taking their fight all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States to gain equal rights with gay marriage, it’s not putting forth a very convincing message when a growing number of relationships with two gay men are only staying together by opening up their relationship for intimacy with an outsider.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure in the Lesbian community as well as in the general Heterosexual community that some of this does go on as well, but those percentages are far smaller as compared to what is happening with gay males these days. And I really haven’t come to understand yet why two gay males have such a hard time settling down in a long term relationship monogamously. When I have asked couples who went to this “open status’ why they did so, I always get that they had grown bored over the years with their sex life and wanted to spice it up. If that is the case, then how come I rarely hear that happening with the heterosexual and lesbian couples I have met. They don’t talk about “playing around”. They don’t go to parties to fondle other people. They don’t go to bars to flirt with others. And yes, like I said before, I’m sure there are a select few who engage in an open relationship, but those numbers are so small as compared to the growing number of gay men today who are making this a common practice.

This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like going out to a gay bar anymore. It’s also why I don’t want to go to most other places either that will have a predominant amount of gay males at it. I have seen this same thing happen at gay social clubs, gay based churches, and even at things like gay parties during the holiday season. A few years ago, I went to a predominately gay male based Christmas party. There, I watched as many of those individuals in those relationships would grope, kiss, or flirt with others that weren’t their partner and no one thought anything of it.

If this is what works for most gay males, then I must not be a typical gay male. I have a partner today who I love dearly and the last thing I want to do is jeopardize that relationship by putting it front and center amongst those who wish to have relationships and connections like this. It’s my hope that I’ll be one of those couples that one day has twenty or more years of being monogamous.

I believe the best part of a monogamous relationship is the love that God can grow within it. And I have seen that when God is at the center of a relationship like the one I have now, I find more and more ways each and every day to love my partner. Will the sex and intimacy eventually not be as alluring…I don’t think the answer to that question really matters. I feel the real question is for all those couples having those open relationships to ask themselves why it is they feel they can’t be happy with one person and only one person on all levels including intimacy.

My conclusion is that for people who entertain the notion of open relationships and eventually succumb to them, that it’s not that they really have grown bored with the sex and intimacy in their existing relationship, it’s that they have fallen out of love with their partner and haven’t realized it yet or that they never were really in love in the first place and just didn’t want to be alone.

Sadly, all these “Open relationships” are doing now is nothing more than tearing down any efforts that are being made to show that gay people can have healthy, long term monogamous relationships. If we are ever going to get gay marriage to become legal in the entire United States, then we are going to have to show that we are a lot more than just sex and horny crazed people who go from one partner to the next.

All I can do is my part which I am now doing with my partner. The two of us have no desire to frequent most places anymore that gay males congregate at because of this decline in moral values that are happening in our culture such as these “open relationships”. And the sad reality in all of this is that I have yet to see any one of those types of relationships ever last for any long periods of time. Instead, what most often happens is that one of those people eventually leaves the relationship for someone they were “playing around” with. In that case in knowing this, is an “open relationship” really worth it then when it’s just a pre-cursor to the demise of the relationship in itself? I think that’s a question that all gay men need to seriously ponder, when they begin to feel the need to consider it as an option for the relationship they’re in.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson