They say love can be found in the most unlikely of places; well, if that's the case, then Ireland has a festival for you if you happen to be a member of the LGBT community. Called The Outing, all sorts of people from all around the world are having a ball and looking to fall in love.
My father told me he was gay when I was 13. He said he had known ever since he was a little boy. Growing up Catholic in North Carolina during the 1960s did not present the most welcoming of circumstances for a gay man. For a lot of people, it is difficult to understand.
"Obviously I never met your mother, but I am the mother of four -- all in their early 20s. In some ways all mothers are the same. If our kids grow up to be kind and happy people who are comfortable in their own skin, that's the ultimate gift."
My heart swelled as I patted Harry's head. He was happy, and so was I. Because while too many people questioned my young son's preferences, and therefore my skills as a mother, we both stood strong with a cartoon rabbit who carried an anvil in his pink purse.
Drag is more than entertainment, more than bookings, more than staying on top; it's a doorway to acceptance. Drag teaches us to be true to ourselves and accept others for who they are. If more parents took their children to all-ages drag shows, they would grow up more accepting and loving.
Since I began my transition, I have tried to figure out why everyone's so angry at me. And the anger I've been trying to find, the rage I've been trying to identify, culminated on that Wednesday morning when I woke up inexplicably at 7 a.m.
Let me suggest an answer that would have been unimaginable 50 years ago: Think about a society that views being gay as we now view being left-handed. The goal is for homosexuality to lose all its negative connotations, to become worth mentioning only in special, neutral contexts.
It's no longer sufficient for our straight friends to say, "I have no problem with you being gay," or, "I have gay friends." What we really need is for LGBT people and our allies to stand together and say that enough is enough when it comes to homophobia.
My brother-in-law's family of origin is two gay men -- my husband and I -- or at least that's how he portrayed us at his wedding. We were the only people asked to stand and represent him by reading verse before the hundred or so guests. It struck me that change had arrived.
With politicians there is a lot talk of "acceptance" and "tolerance" when it comes to homosexuality. I accept the fact that I have to pay taxes. I tolerate the fact that I have to go to the dentist. Why should either of those words apply to how a parent feels about their child?
It is clearly easier to judge others and stand on a platform and proclaim to know the absolute truth not only for yourself but for others as well. Then when we are confronted with an opportunity to walk in the shoes of another, it suddenly seems more complicated.
I have a bigger moustache than your father, higher heels than your mother and I'll steal your girlfriend if you call me "faggot" one more time. Lock up your daughters, shoes and handbags, because Conquistador is coming to town.
Over the holiday break I spent time with friends, family and other loved ones who have supported and loved me without reservation over the years. However, three separate encounters led me to question what I had come to know about support as opposed to true understanding.
Let's be real: Joel and Ethan's pizza story is heartwarming precisely because it is an exception to what usually happens. And though people's attitudes toward gays are slowly softening, go a few miles outside a city center and you get much less friendly treatment.
Vocabulary alone can't fix our problems. But being mindful of what words do is a great start to making the world the kind of place that will embrace these kids so that they can embrace the world right back.
I came to realize that being gay is not a reason to feel guilt or shame. I was created in God's image just as much as any straight person. Finally, I had peace. The guilt and shame left me. My love for music did not.