Thrive Newsletter - Issue #38 - Ode To Florida Edition
I came here with enough self-loathing to help fuel a cult, but it's also here where I found true love and authenticity. Plus, here's an update on my book and the launch groups that have started.
Last night Dan and I started watching Florida Man, a new dramedy on Netflix. Throughout the experience, we kept laughing and saying, “That is SOOO, Florida!”
Even the scene where a gator is floating by with a gun on its back…
I love Florida. Truly. It is my home, and while the “Sunshine State” gets a well-deserved WTF reputation on many fronts, there is a reason it is the third most populous state.
However, on Netflix or not, Florida is its own real-life dramedy…
Yesterday I opened up a local news app, and there was this headline, “Florida man arrested after wife hit with flying chicken wings,” and here is another one I just ran across, “WATCH: Bloody, naked burglar arrested after diving into a pool and jumping on a trampoline.”
I mean… if you have to run from the police bloody and naked, why not jump in the pool, climb out of it, and then jump and pass out on a trampoline?
“Florida Man” is now a cultural meme of how bizarre this state can sometimes be. So usually, when you hear “Florida man” on the news, be prepared for some wild-arse nonsense that is absolutely, incredulously true.
However, while I would never throw chicken wings at someone (they are too good to waste!), After moving here twenty-one years ago to join a cult, I became a Florida man, thinking it was God’s call on my life.
I kinda think that makes me a legit “Florida Man.”
But, it is also here where I came to terms with who I am as a gay man, helped shut down a cult, met and married my husband (legally and spiritually), became a bonus dad to our daughter, bought our house, parents moved here, visited and love all the cities except Tallahassee, been to two nude beaches and a clothing-optional campground… quite the experiences, been to dozens of gorgeous beaches, love all the theme parks, enjoy the magnificent scenery everywhere you go, sailed out on luxury cruises, diagnosed with PTSD and equipped to be able to handle it eighteen years ago, grown spiritually, writing a cathartic book… and so on.
Basically, I came here with enough self-loathing to help fuel a cult, but it is also here where that false version of me came to an end. My whole life finally living authentically, discovering and abiding in my truth, has happened here in Florida.
Dan and I have been publicly heckled a few times, and Governor DeSatan has declared war on the LGBTQ+ community… so there’s that. However, there is so much going on with hateful leadership in this state that is also mind-boggling.
Vote, vote, vote… protest, protest protest… I am not worried about Florida Man bouncing off a trampoline into our hot tub, but I am worried about him making public policy that stigmatizes and punishes us for who we are and love.
Florida is interesting in great and not-great ways, but I love my life here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else…
Now about my book.
We are six months away from the book launch! We are grinding through the content editing phase, but it is getting closer and closer!
I have started a Facebook group and Instagram channel (available through the Instagram app) for those who want to draw upon their inner cheerleader to help promote what I hope will be a life-saving book.
That’s a big claim, but it is my passion. Yes, the memoir is about my life as an abuse survivor, being lured into a cult, and “coming out” late in life. But those are not the only reasons for the book. I want this book to inspire and empower others not to let systemic bigotry instill self-loathing to the point of hurting themselves or others.
Yes, humor is in it throughout, but the book's mission is to help change hearts and minds across generations. But more specifically, I want to let LGBTQ+ young adults and teens know that accepting and loving themselves is beautiful, possible, and empowering even when their whole world appears to be against them.
So, for exclusive updates and to help plan for the book launch, join our crew on Facebook and/or Instagram. See you there!
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