But you’re gay…

My entire life have been told I was gay. “Oh, Cameron’s a special little boy.” “He is too soft.” “Why does he play with dolls?” “You act like a girl.” You’re gay Cameron, faggot!” These words embedded themselves in my psyche at a young age. The second memory I want to share with you is when I was two years old and going to a very religious preschool.

It was show-and-tell day and I was so excited to bring in my new favorite toys. My father spent every other weekend with me, and for lack of knowing what to do, he would take me to Chucky Cheeses. I loved it! The flashing lights and the clink-clank of the games, the whooping and whirling of sounds from bright colored electronic boxes, the sweet and salty smell of cheap pizza, and the laughter of my fellow kids brought so much joy to my young heart that it made me happy to be with my dad. Which was a rare occasion to say the least. He liked giving me wet willies, yuck!

But Chucky Cheeses was our place, a spot in the world that allowed us to be the typical father and son. Well, at least until it came time for me to cash in my tickets and claim my prizes. I knew it the moment I saw them, these little plastic toy unicorns with colored manes and tails. I picked out the green and purple ones. My father was hardly amused as he had pushed me to get the little foam football, thoughts of bonding over sports flooded his head as I handed over my tickets and got my new prized possessions. I’ll say this about my father, he may not have liked how I was, but he always loved me despite my softer tendencies.

So there I was, show and tell day at school and I was bursting with jubilation to share my unicorns with the class! I patiently waited for my turn, smiling as the other kids shared their prized toys; all the while believing I had the best things to show and everyone would think so too. Finally, my turn to share came, and I jumped up and pulled the unicorns out of my pockets. I told them about how my dad and I had gone to Chucky Cheeses and how I had got the unicorns with all the tickets I had won.

The reviews were mixed. Of course, the girls oohed and awed over them, while most of the boys seemed indifferent to my little treasures. I was shocked that not everyone thought my unicorns were the most significant thing they had ever seen. But shock turned to confusion and shame quickly when my teacher yanked them out of my hands and pulled me into the office. She sat me down, placing my unicorns on her desk, she called my father. “Yes, Mr. Denny? Hi, this is Mrs. (whatever her stupid name was), Cameron’s teacher, and I am calling about your son and his show-and-tell items he brought in today. Yes, those unicorns. Mr. Denny, I’m afraid you must come pick up your son. We can no longer have him attend our school. Well, he is going to be gay, and we cannot have him infect the other children with his gayness.”

I don’t know what my father said on his end, but I know I felt so much shame. I didn’t know that’s what I was feeling then, of course, I just felt sick and wrong, like I was evil. I waited in the office with the office lady as I called her, my precious unicorns in plain sight and just out of reach. The office lady would check and then to make sure the evil gay little boy hadn’t started a big homosexual fire in their holy church, grimacing as she looked at me. I just wanted to go home. My mom had custody of me, so she came and picked me up.

When we got to the car my mom gave me my unicorns, she held her fury at the school back, showing me her unconditional love and support for who I was. I cried, I didn’t understand what I had done wrong. But I knew I was terrible and wrong because of it. My dad was not happy that my mom was raising a gay son. As if she had any control over my sexuality or that a little two-year-old boy could even comprehend being gay. There I was two years old and labeled gay. A label that caused my father to take my mother to court to get full custody of me. It was a label that was forced on me for the rest of my young life into adulthood.

My mother ultimately remained my primary parent and caregiver. But the seeds had been planted, and I now doubted who I was. I even told my mom that I felt like a girl inside. But did I? Could I even begin to understand what any of that meant at two years old? I couldn’t even read yet or say the world “spahyetti”, yet I was already gay. But I liked girls and had so many crushes growing up. However, because of my soft nature, I was defined by most kids and adults as being gay. If people tell you something about yourself long enough, and you don’t have the strength of character and sense of self to claim your real truth, then the realities of others eventually become your identity. At least that’s what happened to me.

Labels are stupid. Sure, they serve some purpose, but to label someone as something based on your opinion of their sexuality is beyond disgusting and unfair. It’s almost criminal because you are robbing them of the right to decide who they are. I spent nearly half my life fighting internally with my supposed gayness and honest attraction for men. The older I got, the stronger my attraction for men became and the more I was called gay. So I took that label on, made it my own, and believed the words of others because I didn’t know myself well enough to say, “No! I’m not gay, I don’t know what I am, and I refuse to label my sexuality!” That would have been a profound statement from a little boy and even a teenager.

At 31 I have come out of the gay closet and realized I like women and men. But it goes beyond that; I am attracted to people that are beautiful inside and out. Call it fluid, call it pansexual, go ahead label me. But I won’t wear your labels any longer. The only label I will ever wear is “me.”

Alaskan Grown

My childhood was not perfect; I see that now as an adult looking back on my life. Even with its imperfections, it was so special and filled with love. There is nothing in the world that I would trade for my childhood experience. The blog you are reading is the story of my childhood. It will be an ongoing collection of short stories about the memories I have from my childhood. I will tell you an honest and deeply personal story; I will do my best to be as accurate as possible when it comes to the words and actions of the people in my life. Welcome to my childhood!

My earliest memory is of the home we lived in when I was two months old and living in Anchorage Alaska.

“Cameron Thomas Denny you’re my bright and shiny penny, and I love you.”

My mother was singing softly to me those words, as she would do the rest of my life. Nestled into her bosom, centered in the safety of a mothers love I become conscious of the connection we shared. It is a connection that has never wavered. The smell of freshly baked banana nut bread embraced every corner of the house. To this day when that smell enters my nostrils a deep and powerful sense of safety and home engulfs my body.

I remember eating hardboiled eggs that day too. A flash of a memory of something that seems absurd for only being two months old, but I remember it. But why do I remember these things? What about these moments made them so profound that they have stuck with me for thirty-one years of life, and after all the drugs too.

The one glimpse into the meaning behind this memory is that it foreshadowed my whole life so far. While my mother nurtured me, sang to me about my value, and made impactful sense memories for me to have years to come, my father inflated his new yellow river raft in the living room. The action of this was of course, not some horrible offense, he was excited about his new toy. He always got new toys. He did love me; he does love me.

And yet, this dynamic continued to play out all through my childhood. My mother gave herself endlessly to me, while my father doubted he knew how to raise me, how to connect with me. He would hold me, and I would cry and cry. He told my mom he thought I hated him. She would reassure him babies do not hate, they only love, but insecurities from his past and relationship with his father got in the way. The behavior he manifested was of course not his fault, not entirely anyway.

Despite this rift and polarized relationship modalities with my parents, they still established a foundation for me that ultimately led me to a profound future through a blessed life. In fact, at some point my father stepped aside and allowed David, my stepdad, to represent “dad” to me in totality. I hadn’t realized until just now writing this what a poignant sacrifice my birth father made for me. David was such a pivotal part of my development into the man I am today. I must call and thank my father for his sacrifice. He deserves to know, I mean I exist because of him.

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Public transit zoom.
Past the world, I go.
Limitless in time.
Memories of life pass by,
Elegance at any age.
Public transit zoom.
Down the long stairs, I look.
She beams auburn rays.
Home resides in her,
She lives on within me.
Public transit zoom.
Through space and time, I feel.
That sassy wit and knowing smirk.
An eyebrow raised to the heavens,
That impact everlasting.
Public transit zoom.

For my Gramcracker, from your little crumb. I love you and miss your physical form. Thank you for a life filled with love. I will always cherish the memories of our bus rides together when I was a little boy.

 

 

A Loving Purpose

I have thought for a long time about the meaning of life. The age old question… why are we here?… has echoed in my mind for most of my life. I know I am not alone in this search for answers. It is a part of the human condition to question why it is we exist and what our purpose for living really is. And we are lucky that we live in a time and environment that allows us to ask such questions and even attempt to answer them. We are even luckier that most of the social circles, connections, and interactions we have are on an evolved and consciously elevated level compared to previous generations throughout time. Of course, there are still many people and parts of the world that are in the dark and have not evolved to the higher level of consciousness… and that is sad, but we should still love them all the same.

Which brings me to a recent revelation I had, a lifelong lesson I have studied and witnessed through my mother’s constant example. A realization that was so moving and life-changing, while at the same time so simple. Truly simple at its core. Love. That is it. Love. The reason we are here and experiencing life is Love. All aspects of Love. From the Love a person can experience for a beautiful sunset to the Love of the person of your dreams… and even more profound, the Love one should have for themselves. I’m talking about all kinds of Love, every level of it there is and every form it can take. I’m talking about the Universal Heart Connection we all share. The Universal Love Frequency we all have access to. This Devine Source of energy that ties us all together, that gives life purpose, is Love.

My childhood, my family life, my parents love story, my mothers unconditional love for every human she has ever met, my personal struggles, my fathers acceptance of my sexuality, the men I have loved then lost, the men that have loved then lost me, my dear best friends, and my experiences these past few weeks…. everything has all led to this deeper understanding of the Universal Question. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?

I know I am not the first to discover this and I won’t be the last. Thank God! But Love is the meaning of life!

Giving Love unconditionally. Not expecting anything in return for your Love, and not taking it away out of spite, anger, pain, or fear.

Allowing others to give and show you Love. From a stranger that smiles at you, to the person that chooses to spend the rest of their life with you, we must allow ourselves to receive all forms of Love. We deserve to be Loved. Often I find it is easier to give Love, receiving Love can be much harder, but please let yourself be Loved.

Most of all, the most important form of Love, we must have is Self Love. Self Love is the seed that blooms and blossoms into all other forms of Love. I don’t mean ego or vanity. What I am talking about is an ideal that most never achieve. I still struggle with it. It’s about having an appreciation for your true self, accepting who you are in all forms good or bad, and striving to be the best version of yourself at each moment. Forgiveness and growth are key to having Self Love. Knowing that you are good enough, but not better than anyone else is also important in the circle of Love.

My goal is to give Love to everyone I meet, to receive Love from anyone who sends it out, and to live in an open Evolved Universal Love Connection with all people.

Shitty Lemons

We have all been given lemons by life at one point or another… and we know that when that happens, we must make some bomb ass lemonade.

But it’s always easier said than done. I have had many horrible things happen in my life. The worst would be my father, David Burrus, passing unexpectedly in 2009. The pain and sadness from that event alone lasted years, I still have fragments of the loss embedded in my heart. But the bulk of the pain has processed out of me.

And during the period of depression I felt around my father’s death, I thought I would never get out of the darkness. It had engulfed me and manipulated me to make choices that kept me in the dark and filled with pain. How the hell was I supposed to make lemonade out of the rotten lemon that the universe had placed before me?!

But I held onto a sliver of hope and a belief that everything happens for a reason. And good things, fun things, love filled things did occur throughout this time of my life. Other “bad” things happened too. Life is not black or white. The good and the bad happen together consistently. But an overactive pain body and depression can numb you out from the good and make the bad bigger.

However, it is possible to get through the storm. And I genuinely mean through. Not around. Not away from. Not never. Not tomorrow. But through it, facing it, feeling it, learning from it, and allowing for the natural internal process we all have to deal with our pain to heal us. Scream, love, cry, laugh… honor your pain, thank it for what it teaches you, and then say goodbye to your pain. And remember… do not hurt others with your pain, that only hurts you more.

It’s not easy. I ask you to be patient with yourself and your loved ones. But it is possible to grow, to rise up, to live again, to be reborn anew and without your pain. Yes life gives us lemons, and sometimes they are really sour, but with enough time, willingness, action, forgiveness, and love you can make lemonade out of anything. Even a big pile of stinking shit.

Devine Alchemy

As I sit and contemplate my gratitude this morning, my world and all that has been happening in it spin through my head, and I’m reminded of a saying I have heard many times. “God’s will, not mine.”

I really tried to live by that for many years, but I could never really achieve it. I just didn’t get it. At the time I was trying to be what I thought I was supposed to be, I was trying to live up to a standard set by a community I was apart of and kept failing horribly. I wasn’t happy at all, but I was living in God’s will. Right?!

First, let me say that I have total respect for this community I reference and a lot of love for the men in it. And God’s will has united them for a common purpose that is beautiful. But something just didn’t feel right to me. I could never find my happiness or comfort.

Second… let’s change the phrase a little bit. I love God, and I believe in God, my own personal interpretation of God I mean. We each have one. But I feel that the words “Devine Alchemy of the Universe” represent the idea of “God’s will” more accurately. I am happy to explain why, break down each word, and elaborate on the whole thing if needed, but I trust that most of you get what I mean.

The natural flow of life that is influenced by choice and guided by higher waves of intuitive energy. It’s those moments that just happen easily and feel so right. It’s that instinctual draw you have towards something or someone. It’s that feeling of vibrational cosmic energy coursing through your body giving you God tingles. When the universe is creating your next possibility out of your current situation with your highest good in mind, you know it, and you automatically lean into it. That is living in the “Devine Alchemy of the Universe.”

However, the only constant in life is change and the things that the Universe creates for you will not always be there. And letting go, allowing for the transition to happen… isn’t always easy. It’s in these moments that I take my will back and fight the natural progression of life the Universe has created for me. I fight, I bargain, I deny, I manipulate, and I live in fear when I take my will back. I do it because I want to be happy and the thing that is being taken away made me happy.

But the more I fight and push my will, the less happy I become, and the longer it takes me to get back on my Devine path. Living in the “Devine Alchemy of the Universe” or “God’s will” means letting go and being open to the natural next step. We all have a Devine purpose for being here, trust the process, allow the Universe to guide you, and always live with love.

Today I am grateful that I trust the Universe and can let go of my will. I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do, but when I let go and accept life on life’s terms… I am at peace.