Friday, August 04, 2006

World Pride pt 2

Well it's been a day or so since I've added to the blog, so I thought I would update you all on what;s been going on and how this experience has been.

The Pride Toronto team has been working very closely with the Jerusalem Open House team. We come in every morning, and usually stay until midnight or 2 am. They team at JOH has been so welcoming.

This morning we were talking about how these past few days we've been sucked into the work here and have forgotten to remember to take some time to be tourist.

Then we came in this morning to the JOH office and this song was playing on the radio...we all know it..."Sometimes i want to through my hands, I know i can't count on you...."

Maybe it's been the lack of sleep, the slight dehydration or the sun, but hearing that song made me tear up.

Being from Toronto and having an accepting society, we sometime for forget about our brothers and sisters still fighting for basic acceptance from their peers. In Jerusalem, there are people postering anti gay messages calling for people to "kill the homosexuals" and receive a bounty for each one. But the community is still strong and dedicated here. A group of brave men and women have spray painted rainbow flags on walls around the city. And I have to tell you that it's very emotional to see. We were just walking around, and there was one, a rainbow flag painted on the side of a wall, surrounded by a group of Orthodox Jews. It was so moving and such a powerful symbol of hope and unity.

Last night, we walked around the main area in Jerusalem Ben Yehuda enjoying the people on the street and impromptu performers. We saw everything from drummers to a saxophone player, from a group of young girls playing games to 5-6 boy's break dancing. It's amazing how much this city looks like a European city.

I have also realized my 2 favourite things on this trip....my eye mask and earplugs. Eye mask for the BRIGHT sun in the morning and earplugs for the Mosques 4am LOUD call to prayer....yes 4AM. The first night we were her it scared the s@#t out of me...but once I started listening it was so beautiful to hear. However after that night....it's just annoying now.

Also this morning we left our beautiful B&B for a hotel in Jerusalem. We are hoping this will allow us to have some more tourist time.

As today is the Sabbat (sabbath), we are going to the western wall (whaling wall) to watch the thousands of Jewish men/women go for prayers.

I will keep you all up dated :)

Todah (thank you)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

In Jerusalem - WorldPride 2006

Well I have arrived and I am safe!

What a beautiful country. Everyone is so nice and friendly. The first thing I want to tell you all is that Israel is nothing like you are seeing on CNN.

There is security and army everywhere, but this is normal in Israel (even before the war in the north). I have never felt as safe as I do here.

Once we arrived, talked to the local and saw the city for ourselves, my major concerns for safety have been calmed.

I am hard at work helping Jerusalem Open House prepare for WorldPride. We were in the office all night and here early the next day getting our hands in the thick of things.
It was amazing to sit here in there libray 5 stories up from their main shopping center and hearing lots of local and tourist out having a great time.

Last night we walked around and got famillar with our surrounding. We had the BEST fallafel and some beer with about 15 yonge soilders...pics to come. Then made our way to the local liqor shop to buy some cheep booze...yumm.

Our host at the B&B is a very friendly jewish woman who is from Montreal. We are just outside the downtown core with a great patio view.

This morning we took a great little walk through part of the old city. Saw the amazing vendors and walked the vile del a rosa (stations of the cross) and ended up at the church of the holy seplacur (sorry no spell check and using a hebrew keyboard). This was truely AMAZING. I was a little shutter bug so there will be lots of pictures.

I have to admit that I am falling in love with this city and country. The people are so friendly.

I will try to keep this as up todate as possible! Miss you all.

Yours in Peace and Pride

Brandon

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ryan's Birthday!

Well it's been a whole year and Ryan is another year wiser! This year we decided to head to Olympic Island in the Toronto Islands for a picnic!

The day was filled with good friends, yummy food, exciting games and oh yeah...some rain! But the lil ole' rain didn't get us down!!


Josh and Jeff blocking the birthday boy from the rain!


Crazy Ryan blowing out his birthday cupcake candles


The Gang!

The 1st annual Bacci Ball Tournament

The excited spectators!

We had so much fun that we'll do this again soon!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Getting READY for WOLDPRIDE 2006 in Jerusalem!


Well I have booked my flight and hotel, just waiting now. I am so excited and can't wait to be apart of something so important.

If you are not aware of what WorldPride is....well!

WorldPride is an event licensed by InterPride (an organization of Pride organizers from all around the world) that is an event of international significance to LGBTTIQ community.

WorldPride has only happened once before, in Rome Italy in 2000. And this year it will be held in Jerusalem Aug 6-12.

The theme for the 2006 WorldPride is Love without Boarders. Jerusalem WorldPride 2006 will bring a new focus to an ancient city through a massive demonstration of LGBT dignity, pride, and boundary-crossing celebration. In these times of intolerance and suspicion, from the home of three of the world’s great religions, we will proclaim that love knows no borders.

Events taking place during Jerusalem WorldPride 2006 include a Youth Day, LGBT Health Day, Human Rights Day, Multifaith Conference and the Equality Rally/March.

For more information on WorldPride visit
http://www.worldpride.net/

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ottawa Marathon

This past weekend Josh, Adam and Ryan ran in the Ottawa race weekend!
Jeff and I were the official Cheerleaders....and were we ever good at it!
Everyone did a great job at their runs and can't wait to see them do it all over again!

Ryan and Adam getting ready for the BIG RUN! Good Luck Boy's

Adam enjoying his victory smoke!

Look at all the runners!

Me: Official Cheer Princess

Hurray Josh! Just finished the 10k, getting a nice hug from his beau Jeff! aren't they cute!

Hurray RYAN! Very proud of him....21.5K in 1hour and 55mins! YOU ROCK!

Jeff and I...official cheer squad! We got lots of looks!

Run Ryan Run!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ryan's Off to London then South Africa

Well Ryan's started his first overseas adventure! Lastnight his British Airways flight left Toronto and landed in London. He will be in England until Friday, then heading to Cape Town for the ICEI World Confrence.

If you would like to be updated on his adventure, go to http://ryan.iclei.org/




Monday, January 30, 2006

Well looks like we have Mr. Bush Canada Now eh!

Monday, January 23, 2006


Friday, January 20, 2006

Michael Moore Statement on Canadian Election

http://www.michaelmoore.com/

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Michael Moore Statement on Canadian Election

Michael Moore is currently in production on his next movie. As an avid lover of all things Canadian, he has issued the following statement regarding Canada's upcoming election on Monday:

Oh, Canada -- you're not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That's a joke, right? I know you have a great sense of humor, and certainly a well-developed sense of irony, but this is no longer funny. Maybe it's a new form of Canadian irony -- reverse irony! OK, now I get it. First, you have the courage to stand against the war in Iraq -- and then you elect a prime minister who's for it. You declare gay people have equal rights -- and then you elect a man who says they don't. You give your native peoples their own autonomy and their own territory -- and then you vote for a man who wants to cut aid to these poorest of your citizens. Wow, that is intense! Only Canadians could pull off a hat trick of humor like that. My hat's off to you.

Far be it from me, as an American, to suggest what you should do. You already have too many Americans telling you what to do. Well, actually, you've got just one American who keeps telling you to roll over and fetch and sit. I hope you don't feel this appeal of mine is too intrusive but I just couldn't sit by, as your friend, and say nothing. Yes, I agree, the Liberals have some 'splainin' to do. And yes, one party in power for more than a decade gets a little... long. But you have a parliamentary system (I'll bet you didn't know that -- see, that's why you need Americans telling you things!). There are ways at the polls to have your voices heard other than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

These are no ordinary times, and as you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he's a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest? Is that how you want millions of us down here to see you from now on? The next notch in the cowboy belt? C'mon, where's your Canadian pride? I mean, if you're going to reduce Canada to a cheap download of Bush & Co., then at least don't surrender so easily. Can't you wait until he threatens to bomb Regina? Make him work for it, for Pete's sake.

But seriously, I know you're not going to elect a guy who should really be running for governor of Utah. Whew! I knew it! You almost had me there. Very funny. Don't do that again. God, I love you, you crazy cold wonderful neighbors to my north. Don't ever change.
Michael Moore

(Mr. Moore is not available for interviews because he now needs to address the situation in Azerbaijan. But he could be talked into it for a couple of tickets to a Leaf's game.)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Think Twice Canada! DON'T Vote for HARPER!

Today, January 19th, 2005

A group of Torontonians dedicated to protect Canadian values greeted Mr. Harper at the CBC broadcasting station in Toronto.

This “greeting” was organized by “Think Twice” a newly formed coalition of social advocacy and citizens' organizations wanting to express their concern about the implications for Canadian social programs and equality rights of a potential Conservative victory in the upcoming federal election.
The Think Twice coalition is formed by representatives from numerous citizens' organizations, including: health care, environmental, human rights, women's rights, child care, arts, housing, aboriginal, trade union, disability, and minority advocacy groups.

Here are some of my photo's from today's event!




Even the animals don't like Harper!!

Oh..and Mr. Harper was scared to face us concerned Canadians! Sneaky little snake! Is this what we’ll expect if he’s the Prime Minister…a sly snake?


Do you value:


Medicare?
Child Care?
Social Programs?
Equality?
Your right to Choose?
That you live in a country of peace?
The environment?

Think before you vote….Mr. Harpers Conservatives WILL take that away from you!

Do you really want that?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Stop Harper, Protect Equal Marriage!

A recent email I recieved from EGALE Canada~




[Version française] [Donate]
January 12, 2006 le 12 janvier 2006Special Edition Édition spéciale

Monday, January 23 is Election Day.
With less than two weeks left,Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are ahead in the polls.
Now is the time to take action. It’s easy! Just visit
www.egale.ca/election to find out how.
We’ve rated all the leaders on their support for LGBT issues, as follows:

Jack Layton A+
Paul Martin A
Gilles Duceppe A
Jim Harris A-
Stephen Harper F


Some say it doesn’t matter, equal marriage is safe. Don’t be fooled. If Mr. Harper becomes Prime Minister equal marriage is in jeopardy. Trans equality is in jeopardy. The Supreme Court is in jeopardy.


Many people think it will be impossible for Mr. Harper to take away our equal right to marry. If only that were the case!


The equal marriage legislation passed by 25 votes. That means if only 13 supportive Members of Parliament are replaced by those who want to take away equal marriage, opponents would have a majority. If Mr. Harper becomes Prime Minister, it’s likely the majority of Parliament will be against equal marriage.


How about Mr. Harper’s promise not to use the notwithstanding clause? Doesn’t that mean his heterosexual-only marriage law would be doomed? Not necessarily.


Just last week two political science professors wrote in the Toronto Star that Mr. Harper’s promise not to use the notwithstanding clause may be temporary, and by the time the Supreme Court rules he could wriggle out of his promise.


In the meantime, if he becomes Prime Minister, Mr. Harper will be the one appointing new Supreme Court justices. There’s a vacancy now just waiting to be filled… and more to come.
Our opponents are mobilized. They’re engaged in a mostly quiet, backroom campaign to elect MPs who will take away equal marriage. They’re communicating within their networks. They know now is not the time to come on strong with mainstream voters. They don’t want to jeopardize Stephen Harper’s deceptive moderate image.


Some say Mr. Harper really is “moderate” and doesn’t care about taking away equal marriage. But does that make sense? Doesn’t it make more sense that this is merely a deception to lull Canadians into believing he’s not so scary? Does “moderate” really describe someone who did everything in his power to delay and destroy Bill C-38, who’s voted against every advance in our equality since 1995, who says we’re not even protected by the Charter?


Does “moderate” describe someone who said to an American right wing think tank that “your country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world”?


And will Mr. Harper not be beholden to his socially conservative base who, after the election, will step up the pressure for him to take away equal marriage?


There’s no doubt about it. Prime Minister Harper would be a major threat to equality.
Egale is working to spread the word, and to warn Canadians that leopards don’t change their spots.


Taking action is easy. Just visit Egale’s election website at

www.egale.ca/election.


Egale has been working hard to gather and post information about local candidates, including sending out over 1,200 questionnaires to see where they stand on LGBT issues. The results are being posted on our website at

www.egale.ca/election.


Find out where the candidates stand. Volunteer with supportive candidates. Invite your friends to take action. And donate to Egale.


The choice is yours. Take action now and ensure equal marriage is safe and progress can continue. Or spend years fighting for something you thought we’d already won, wishing you’d done more.


Egale is fighting, but we can’t do it alone. You are our strength. Apathy is our weakness.
Please go to

www.egale.ca/election right now. Educate yourself, volunteer, tell others, and donate to Egale so we can continue the fight.


Please also pass this message on to friends, family and other LGBT equality supporters.
There’s little time left before Election Day. Don’t let it slip by without taking action.

Don’t wake up on January 24 wishing you’d done more.


Laurie ArronDirector of AdvocacyEgale Canada


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rick Mercer's Blog

Rick Mercer's Blog

Monday, January 09, 2006

Conservative Cabinet Revealed

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jan 9 Leaders Debate


Well it's over...

The english portion of the leaders debate is over and here are my takes on what I saw!

Mr. Harper (Conservative)

WOW...what a sleazebag Mr. Harper is. Who is supporting Mr. Harper's campaign? Who is donating funds to Mr. Harper? Well, he wouldn't say.

Why is the leader of a national party, running to become the next Prime Minister putting down Canada? He moved around that question like a slimy snake! !


Mr. Martin (Liberal)

Well Paul...calm down. In my opinion you were the most passionate, driven and most represented what I believe in.

If you could just stop acting like your life is on the line!

I believe in you Mr. Martin. You are MY Prime Minister!


Mr. Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois)

Why is the Bloc allowed to participate in a NATIONAL debate? You do not run a NATIONAL party? This is very unfair to the Green Party!

However, if you weren't a separatist, and I lived in Quebec, you would have my vote!


Mr. Layton (NDP)

WE GET IT....there is a third option! Stop repeating it like we're children!

You are a great leader, a very passionate man and have done wonders for the NDP, however I think you're playing game. Stop beating down the other parties, and show us why we should vote for the third option.
I wish you all the best!
I would love a Liberal Government with a NDP Opposition!

Mr. Harris (Green Party)

Where were you?
I fully support the Green Party Leader participating in the Leaders debate!

Good Luck!




Overview: Well it's going to be a tough next 2 weeks.

Good Luck to you all!


Please remember to vote on Monday January 23rd!

Your vote counts!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My take on the Canadian Election!



Well, looks like we are in the thick of things!


The Harper conservatives are whining about a supposed negative ad campaign from Mr. Martin’s Liberals. Well I still have to see this ad!

But wait…I think this is just how Mr. Harper plans on running his campaign. He’s hiding behind a smoke screen of lies to mask his true evil. I bet if we look really really close you will see his little horns on top of his head.

This is a party run by a man that is fundamentally against what is means to be Canadian. EQUALITY!

How can any Canadian look inside themselves and check off “Conservative” on Election Day?

This is a man on the FIRST day of the election campaign could not answer a simple question. “Do you Love Canada?” I don’t know about you…by MY Prime Minister better love this county. Wait. My Prime Minister answered that question very easily…”YES I love Canada”.

If Harper Conservative Governement doesn’t wants to revoke equal marriage, what do you think will be next on their agenda? Women’s Rights? Miniority Rights? Freedom of Speech?

Vote for Canada…Vote Liberal!


Please remember to vote on January 23, 2006

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wishing you a happy holiday full of intoxication and cheer!
(please do not drink and drive)

Ride em COWBOY


Oh my!!

Brokeback Mountain is a fabulous movie. Such a moving love story that hooks you right from the start.

oh yeah...and its about a 2 gay cowboys in the 60's. This movie is boudly showing the world that the LGBTTIQ2S community is about Love, and meainingful romance.

But not to kid anyone, there's some good sex too.

I highly advise anyone to see this movie...I'm about to see it for the second time.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Divers/Cite Montreal

What a great time Divers/Cite in Montreal was! On Friday our adventure started off with problems. The Via Train tickets I had booked were marked as "Coach"...for "regular" people!! Sorry...but we're first class ONLY!! So we did get our tickets changed to First class with 3 mins to run to the train!!

The train ride was fun, a bit long, but fun! We stayed right downtown Montreal, where the Brazilian Swim team was staying...(very nice to see) Friday, we took it easy...had dinner at Oscars, then visited SAQ, got trashed and went to Parking...oh yeah $3 shooters! After a good nights sleep, we made our way to Old Montreal. What a beautiful part of town. (see pics) The little shops and the streets full of artist and street performances, old Montreal is a MUST!

After that we made our way back down town to do a little shopping. On our way we detoured through this beautiful building (looked allot like BCE place in Toronto). In the middle of this building was a section of the Berlin Wall. It was so amazing to see it and be able to touch it. (see Pic).

Once we had our moment with the Berlin Wall, we hit Simons...now if you have never been to Simons...YOUR MISSING OUT! It's like Montreal's Gay Mecca. Great selection of clothing and sometimes great deals. After all that shopping, we needed a nice drink and nap!

Once Josh arrived, we hit the town....Had some CHICKEN at a nice lil bar called Taboo. After that Sky Bar. All of Montreal's Bars are really nice...with their rooftop patio's.
Once we had a few (wink wink) drinks in us, we were ready to DANCE our hot buns off at Stereo. Well at least we thought we would....instead we waited 3 hours in line, then they finally let us in!! But it was worth the wait! What a kick ass time!

Sunday we spent on the Divers/Cite site. Dancing at "La Grande Danse" where Steve turned RED with a sun burn, then at " La Grand Bal Disco" where the 5 of us were officially sworn in as true homosexuals! Yes that's right...we had our right of passage into Fagdom. We say RuPaul sing "Work"....it was a life changing experience! Then it was off to Unity II where we drank our way to bed...then home on Monday.

It was a great time with great friends....I'm sure you'll all get more details later....our memory is still a bit fuzzy from all that booze!

Thank you to Josh, Steve, Adam and Ryan for making this a trip I will never forget! Cheers to great friends!

Oh and as they say in Montreal..."Hey, you might die tomorrow"...and I think we partied like we were going too!!!


Old Montreal (don't remember who this is)

Josh & Steve..."hey...wait for us"


A beautiful church on St. Catherine

Steve get's in the spirit (Blue White Red...the french flag) after dancing on the street for HOURS!

Josh, Steve, Me & Ryan...being certified GAY with RuPaul

Adam, Josh & Grady....."WORKOUT" with RuPaul

All ready for a night out on the town.

Not just sex.....SUPER SEX....ahh gotta love Montreal

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall

He Killed lot's of people...so he gets a monument

Just chillin in old montreal!


Le Grande Danse (Rue Berri et Ontraio)

RuPaul tell the crowd to Workout...then to WORK!

Old Montreal

Me with the frog in old montreal

Old Montreal


Mado's Reasturant...Like Zelda's in Toronto


On the Train!! Choo Choo