I’m an a ‘Murican.

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything in quite some time. To be honest? I’ve been afraid to.

In the last couple of months every attempt I made to open my mouth and say something caused me some trouble on a personal level. There is no secret in saying I’m pretty much a lonely guy. I mean, out in this vast world I have made some wonderful friends through this blog of mine.  There are people out there I’ve never shaken hands with, nor hugged, that I truly love and adore….and I feel that desire is reciprocated. But, in the world, in real time….passing people on the street, or sitting at a cafe, or meeting a friend of a friend of a friend has been enormously difficult. You see, I have opinions about the world, life, love, emotions, purpose. And many of the people I come in contact with don’t care for my ideas. And so, when I go to write something here on my blog I stop myself and say, “damn…I can’t say that. I’ll get Dixie Chicked.” You remember that hullabaloo, don’t you? The Dixie Chicks were getting some rather impressive prominence, then all of a sudden they spoke their minds and SPLAT…..that was the end of them. And to be frank, I’m in no financial situation to speak frankly. One wrong blog and I’m out….shut out, condemned, and boycotted.

Now, I wouldn’t take so much of this to heart f it has not happened in real time. Its easy to lose two to five strangers you meet through encounters. Its another thing to lose thousands of people with one open and honest idea about your politics or your religious beliefs. So, I’ve been so TERRIFIED of saying anything at all….for fear the moment I do it will cost me a ton of people I’ve grown to love, but never met. You. I’ve been afraid of losing YOU.

I criticized the president and I was called a racist. I confirmed that I was a conservative and I was called a Nazi. And when I said I was gay, I was a traitor and told I ought to be “drug into the streets and shot for betrayal.” That a gay, Christian, conservative was in no way different than a “Jew helping the Nazis.” And then when they find out I’m from the South, well, then that’s all they need. I’m already a homophobic, racist, sexist, backwards, uneducated, inbred idiot. I was called a “‘Murican.” And I had to go find out what they meant. Definition is simple: someone overly patriotic…usually a homophobic, racist, sexist, backwards, uneducated, inbred idiot.

We’re not going to talk politics now. No. We can save that for some other time. I’m weary of it at the moment. I want to talk more about the strangeness of being called a traitor if you’re a patriot. I could walk the street right now, walk away from this blog in a moments notice holding an American flag, strut down Bumby Avenue holding it high saying the Pledge of Allegiance and no one in this neighborhood would applaud. They’d call me crazy, weird, suspect, extremist, a doomsday prepper, a militant….’Murican.

I want to talk about the hypocrisy that my gay brothers have fallen into. For decades we have fought for acceptance, tolerance, not to be treated special, but to treated with the same dignity as anyone else…..and yet, most of the gay organizations I tried to align myself with were adamant that conservatism, Christianity, and dislike of this current president were completely and unequivocally unwelcome. They would not tolerate it. They would not accept it. They would not treat it as another opinion thrown into the thought process. My gay brothers are forcing tolerance onto many with the idea of boycott….and I don’t like it.

So this blog post isn’t about one political idea over another. I really only like to do those discussion face to face. We can be vulnerable in front of each other….and often times patient with each other. And discuss, and get passionate and angry and agreeable, because we can look into each others eyes. And more so? When all is said and done, we can shake hands and walk away having learned something or taught something. This blog post is more about the concept of dismissal. If I don’t like your ideas……then I want to get rid of you for good. And that ain’t the ‘Murica I live in.

Funny that I can be so prone to really like someone of a liberal mindset, but they won’t allow me the time to discuss my ideas. I’m immediately dismissed. I’ve never said to anyone that I hated them. I’ve never said to anyone that I hated them for their politics. Hell, my best friend, Kara, is a socialist. I’ve never said to anyone I didn’t like them because they were gay. I never said I hated anyone because they approved of Barack Obama. But, If I HAD done any of those things, I’d be put in a shit can, shook around in social media, then tossed to the side never to sell another book or bear again.

But, every once in a while you have take an enormous stand. I’ve been afraid to say whats on my mind because I thought you would leave me. I am a lonely man, spending hours and hours a day alone and knitting out my teddy bears. And in those lonely hours my mind goes so fast and quick with ideas and thoughts that I can’t wait to write them down…..but wait! You could lose your supporters. So, there has been this fear that if I say something, I’m toast. And that’s the problem I have….the situation this media has made out for us….that your opinion will destroy you, if its not one we agree with. And if you’re on social media???? Well, gives new meaning to the term “social disease.”

But, I’m here….and I’ve always been a scrappy little guy. A survivor. I don’t want to see any of you leave because you disagree, I want you to stay. I want dialogue, I love it. I want us to EXERCISE the rights handed to us by the First Amendment, not cower under them, not fear them. I want us to USE them. Isn’t that some of the best conversations that come out of “sip and knits,” or “bitch and stich” gatherings? Us knitters know them well. We sit back with a group of people, work up our projects and talk….sometimes gossip, politics, sometimes technique. It all depends. But, we share.

On the knitting front, I’m pushing bears out daily, and its going well. I’m using technology (ok, the USPS website) to let people know postage has been paid, now the bear has been shipped, now the bear is one day away from your front door.

On the email front. I’m getting about 200 per day, and its gotten really REALLY hard to spend the time going through them. I know that’s not an excuse, but if I don’t respond quickly, its not because I’m not trying. And hopefully, if I start making more money I can actually hire someone (yay capitalism!) and have them help me with the administrative stuff. I can see it now:  I’m sitting, knitting and my “assistant” says, “you have an order for two more bears and Heather wants to know where hers is.” And I can easily just say, “Pull out Heather’s order and let’s see what we can do….”

So, I guess in a nutshell what I’m trying to say is I’m very sorry for not having written anything sooner. (Giovanni! I SAW YOUR EMAIL! WILL RESPOND PROMPTLY!) But, I’ve been really REALLY worried that if I embark on blog posts that mean something to me, that many of you would flee……but, I can’t see that happening anymore. I can’t. Because the more I think of it, what we share is something that transcends politics and religion. It moves higher than geographic boundaries and cultural differences. What we share, does however, move into uncharted terrains of peace, love, compassion……and above all, hope and tolerance for each and every one of us who come here to share. One topic at a time, one idea at a time…..

One stitch at a time.

God Bless ‘Murica.

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93 comments

  1. I may not always agree with what you have to say, but I will always stand behind your right to say it. I love this blog, I think you’re interesting, and no, our political views probably aren’t going to match. They don’t need to match. You just need to keep being you, in real time, and those worth keeping on your blog will stay and be happy that you are being yourself.

    1. I totally agree with this sentiment. People are bound to disagree with personal opinions, and I think we have become overly sensitive to people who disagree with us. I’m not sure why anyone would want a homogenized nation; it’s only by our differences do we learn and grow as individuals and as a country. What this blog post is for me – you are taking a stand for who you are and what you believe in, and your conviction, yet openness to accept others, helps me respect you. Thank you.

  2. Agreed on all counts. Be well, and have some internet hugs. *hugs* I hope you find that your followers are more loyal than you think.

  3. I can’t seem to go to your blog from my mini tablet. Why are you lonely? Reply if you feel like chatting. I’m not looking to hurt anyone so your safe, lol

    Angela

  4. Thanks for your post, thanks for being brave. I’ve missed your posts and was wondering how you were doing. BTW, I don’t know you, don’t agree with your politics but frankly don’t care what they are . I know you only through your blogs but no matter, I love you. Hang in there. You give me hope

  5. It would be a much better world if we could really talk to each other without all the hate and name-calling. This is a very important post. Good for you. I wish you all the best.

  6. No explanation necessary. If you need a hug while you heal from the bruising just know, that those who are here for you and appreciate your right to voice opinions whether they mirror ours or not will always be here and be kind. Hugs.

  7. What Monica said. If you are yourself, the people who stay are engaged with that that is really you. They see the authenticity of your posting and, whilst they may not always, or even often, agree, they see that authenticity shining through and they like it. 🙂

  8. I like what you have to say, and i will keep reading your blog. What matters is your heart, not your beliefs, etc . It really is okay to agree to disagree with people and still be friends. That is a really tough concept for people to wrap their minds around sometimes. So, we all get caught up in being “politically correct.” That is not freedom. Freedom is being able to speak your mind (without being cruel) and have your opinion respected–even if it is not agreed with. So, keep being yourself, and BE HAPPY!!

  9. Thanks for coming back…I missed you and was worried. People are complicated, interesting, wonderful…and if we were all just alike the world would be super boring. Thanks for being honest and for sharing, and virtual hugs to you!

  10. I have a very good friend and we have agreed that our views on certain things don’t match. But we respect each other and realize that we don’t have to think the same way to be friends. But not everyone feels that way, it is a shame that we cannot be a more tolerant society. You are a talented man, I enjoy reading your blog and looking at your bears. They are adorable!!! I love to knit and sew, it is nice to see the passion you have to create. I look forward to your next entry. Be well and be creative and love yourself, (something is am working on)!

  11. But I have to tell you…. I don’t knit, I crochet. I’m not gay, I’m straight. I was raised NORTH of the mason Dixon line and I would never say the word ‘Murican’ … cept’ in this reply . I’m different than you. I AM AN AMERICAN….therefore, I am just exactly like you! See…we all have SOME common ground to stand on.

  12. My Dear Gregory Patrick, You are sensational…I love you…A giant internet hug from Frankenmuth Michigan. I loved yur BLOG and I think you will find you will have EVEN MORE loyal followers…I haven’t ordered a bear yet. I’ll let ya get caught up. I wish I lived closer I’d volunteer to help you with yur administrative duties. I am a 67 yr old Gay man. I live alone, just my dog and I and recently I have taken up Canary Breeding. (5 Hens and 3 Cocks) It keeps me busy. But I do know what lonely is all about. I crochet afghans, Rag Rugs, and make microwave corn bags. So by me being Gay does that make me a ‘Murica too? God Bless You. Hugs, Tobias…Frankenmuth Michigan

  13. I’m not going anywhere. Anyone who does is not worthy of YOU, not the other way ’round. I understand your fear. I have gay friends who have the same fears, frustrations, and struggles.

    God bless. Write more. Knit on. Live fearlessly. ❤

  14. I was worried that you had not posted for some time. Happy to see you back! I have friends of all colors, religions, political views and sexual orientation and we seem to be able to meet on one common ground – our respect, empathy, and humanity. If you lose friends because you express your views…well….not everyone can find the “middle or common ground.” Some are not in a place where they feel safe enough to accept that others do not see the world the same way. No fear, my friend, no fear. While I’m sure that you feel the sting of their outrage and vitriol in such a public forum, it speaks of your courage to see you stand fast in what you believe. God bless you for that. Be happy, be honest and know that you are loved. I can’t wait to receive my teddy bear, knowing that it was knitted with such love and spirit!

  15. I don’t always agree with everything anyone says; that doesn’t mean I don’t respect them or their right to their own beliefs. Have at it, I say, although I appreciate that because you are self-employed it may not be as easy as all that. I stepped in it big time several months back over gun control and earned myself all sorts of lovely monikers and questions about my sanity. Whatever. What I miss is civilized debate/discussion. Whatever happened to being allowed to have, and express, what you believe without fear of being publicly crucified? Screw ’em! You’ll wind up just as bitter and jaded as they are if you aren’t true to who you are and what you believe. I enjoy reading your blog even if I don’t always agree. At least you’re honest which is more than I can say for some.

  16. i’m not gay, not conservative, and i voted independent, so i guess that makes us enemies in the mind of some. but the reality is, that we are so benefited by the variety of people in the world. it’s so important for us to be willing to hear what another has to say and allow them their right to say so, whether we agree or not. there needs to be a forum for the expression of ideas without the agenda of changing another person to agree with one or the other side of every issue or lifestyle. hang in there, mad man, and keep being who you are and believing what you believe. that’s what makes america, america, that smorgasbord of ideologies. and know that for every person or group who makes you feel like an outcast, there’s this ‘little’ group of people who love you for exactly who you are.

    1. I can only say “ditto” to everything that Colleen so beautifully expressed. I believe in you. And those people who don’t – shake the dust from your sandals and move on. There are plenty of us who love you just the way you are.

  17. I am glad you posted. I was thinking about you last night and was wondering how you are doing and why we haven’t heard from you. I am glad you are OK. Hugs!

  18. Despite your scrappy ability to trudge forward, I’m sad that you were bullied into silence. The internet can really be a stupid place sometimes. Welcome back to the blogosphere. 🙂

  19. If you have any Unitarian Universalist Fellowships nearby you should check them out. Most are pretty liberal but they will accept as you are and maybe you will make some new friends. I know it’s not the same, but you have your internet crew!

  20. What a wonderful expression – “I’ll get Dixie-Chicked”. Also so incredibly nice to see all the well-deserved support for you and our collective rights to speak our minds respectfully without recrimination. Beautiful. Just beautiful. From your neighbour in the frozen north.

  21. People are so freaking closed minded, it makes me sick… I could care less how you live your life or what you believe in… You are an aome person and for the people who judge you, they don’t deserve your time. Huge hugs from Central Florida 🙂

  22. We may not have much in common in the realm of politics, religion or knitting (I’m a lapsed crocheter) but I’ve very much enjoyed your writings and will continue to tune in. Thanks for the interesting thoughts and musings.

  23. Hmmm… it seems a learned a long while back that people were not so much interested in what I thought, but what I thought about what they thought.

    did that make any sense?

    I used to have a hard time talking w/ people until I learned that most folks just want someone to listen to them. So I learned to ask questions, listen to the answers, & springboard into other questions from what they said.

    people started thinking I was SO deep & SUCH a good listener 😉 LOL

    So how does that apply to you?

    People are more interested in sharing with you what they think, not what you think.

    Harsh truth, but it’s the reality we live with.

    I’ve also faced the reality that there are a few people in my life who care about what I think & feel. It’s to them I share myself, my real thoughts & opinions, & all that I feel about things.

    So, figure out who those few folks are who REALLY wants to know what you think & feel, & share yourself with them.

    So what do you share on here?

    Good grief, man! Your life is terribly interesting. Share that! Talk about anything & everything. There’s just a lot of political, social, relational things that you don’t need to share with blog readers because, quite frankly, that’s not what they want. They want to share themselves. So, maybe you could ask some questions, share some of the responses, & explore that direction with this blog?

    I don’t know…

    I’m not surprised you’ve received the response you have. There’s very few people who are truly able to love others well.

    I know I’d like to know all you think & feel, & won’t be put off by anything. I wouldn’t be reading your stuff & writing a comment if I was easily offended 😉

    keep it up!

  24. Phew Gregory, glad you are back, and that you are well.
    Do not worry about expressing your mind, you are a good man with a good heart. Your ideas might not please everyone but who cares ? You HAVE ideas ! How can we learn, be better, grow, without dialogue ? Without exchanging our views? Go ahead, dear Gregory, fear not to express your thoughts. We, your blog friends, will be always by your side, ready to defend you from ignorance and intolerance. I wish the world had more people like you. It would be a much, much better place.
    Love and a big Hug from Europe, to Mario too.

    P.S.
    take your time to reply, no hurry at all. What counts is that you are back !

  25. I will write at length soon but meantime be reassured as the Dalai Lama is on our side. See his recent pronouncement.

    Good manners oil the wheels that make civilization possible. Anne G.

  26. I’m English, living in the UK and I am a socialist. My partner is a conservative. He even voted for David Cameron, our current Prime Minister. We don’t agree about much when it comes to politics but we have lived together for over 30 years. That’s what democracy is about, isn’t it? You can have your opinions and beliefs and I can have mine. It doesn’t mean we have to hate and despise each other.

  27. It is a scary thing, sometimes. Even so, your courage is pretty darned awesome to say what you do. I’m a tree-hugging, gun-totin’, conservatively living, liberal-minded, sometimes generous, capitalistic, straight, Pagan. Too many people will want to put you into their own boxed view of what is right. Hang in there! The world just might catch up one day. Also, I know that you might lose a few people, but don’t let that get you down. They have to live their own path. You stay true to yours.
    Blessings,

  28. I think the thing is that whatever views people have, they are expressed respectfully and honestly, and as far as I can see, that’s how you express yourself. I’m certainly not conservative but I welcome the opportunity to debate issues with people who don’t agree with me,as long as it doesn’t degenerate into spite and name calling and bullying. I welcome having the chance to debate things in a mature way. So keep at it 🙂

  29. One of my favorite sayings “sometimes you have to agree to disagree”. Our thoughts, feelings, opinions and emotions are what make each of us who we are….we aren’t supposed to be the same and always agree. I love your blog and I LOVE my Figaro bear. Stay strong to who you are and I have to believe your followers will continue to follow! Big HUGS!

  30. hello gregory – i am not a ‘murican – or even an american, i am not a conservative. i am not gay. i am a knitter. i am a human being. i enjoy your conversations. please continue conversing!
    and oh yes – hugs from canada

  31. Advice from Kid President – Things People Should Say More Often; I disagree, but I still respect you as a person…

    Unfortunately there are always some who are closed minded, but I do believe that there are many more who will stick by you whether they agree or not. My husband and I are nearly polar opposites when it comes to politics, but it doesn’t change how we feel about each other.:)

  32. People with different opinions are the reason it call “Home of the Free and the Brave”. I also might not agree with everything you have to say but I agree with your right to say it. I am a knitter, straight, conservative, white 67 year old Southern woman and I want you to know I have missed your blog and am happy you have returned with your opinion.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing from the heart! I’ve missed you posts and was beginning to worry that something might have happened. You were so happy sharing about your birthday…I’m sad to see that once again bullying has nearly silenced a wonderful person.

  34. You know who your friends are by what they do. If they leave you, then they are not your friends. I have two best friends, two friends that I would be lost without, and we do not always agree. But, because our love for each other transcends who we are and what we believe, we can still be friends even when we don’t agree, and we can still love each other. I am white, straight, conservative, and christian. I have a friend who recently “came out”. I don’t love her any less because she says she’s gay. Just like, I like your blog and think your bears are adorable. I stand up and solute you because you have brought yourself back from the brink. I don’t care if you are gay. We are supposed to respect each other and love each other and lift each other up not tear each other down. Basic human respect. That has been forgotten in this currant age. Carry on dear man!

  35. we have missed you and we are lonely too! (ask Santa for your own Dragon and you can knit and blog at the same time.) It’s good to hear from you again.

  36. I think if we all shared the same beliefs, the world would be a pretty boring place. I’m always delighted to have real (and I mean REAL if you know what I mean) conversations with people, exploring those differences. Celebrating the common threads and exploring in wonder and joy those things that make us different. Thank goodness for diversity!

    Be yourself. Always be true to who you are. You and I might not agree on everything, but I’m still happy to be here, reading each new blog even if I don’t always comment. Many hugs, and consider that you’ve got a friend in Colorado who wishes we could sit down face to face someday.

  37. “For some interesting thoughts on patriotism, go to nyym.org and see may and september 2013SPARK” says my wife. I found you via HuffPost, and happily signed on. I am a gay liberal woman minister married to a gay patriotic DAR member Quaker. I am disabled too. Hun, we’ve missed you…..welcome back (and when I can afford to I’m buyin’bears!)

    Be good to yourself.

  38. I am so sorry you have been so badly treated. I find that shocking. Last time I checked this is America and a person should be able to voice his idea’s without such outrageous verbal abuse. I am liberal and wonderer, honestly wonder in a curious way, not a judging way, how one can be gay, conservative, and Christian. I know many are but considering how many churches, historically, and currently feel about those of us who are gay, how one makes peace with that and the views of the conservatives. The only thing that comes to my mind is perhaps, you are more middle of the road and belong to a church that is accepting of the LBGT community. That makes we wonder, wait, isn’t that being more liberal then? Sorry but it does confuse me. Would you feel comfortable sharing this experience as it applies to you? You may email me privately if you wish.

    thank you, and thank you for writing again,I enjoy your blog thoroughly.

    1. I second this request – i would deeply appreciate and LOVE to hear your words around this – and I hear you on the blog’fear paralysis, as a fellow blogger with a crazy diverse readership and not wanting to alienate/lose readers – how to be a bridge rather than a wall – Blessings on you for your bridge-building! Much Love! Sea G Rhydr

  39. I’ve had several friends, some very close, over the years who are complete opposite. It never ceases to amaze me when we chat on different topics that by the end I am supposed to walk away with respect for their beliefs, values, and morals… but they’ll never respect mine, and don’t hesitate to tell me so. Sounds like you’ve had that kind of chat, more than once.

    Glad you are back, and more agree with you than you realize. Sometimes the sting of such awful experiences makes us feel like we’ll never take that kind of risk again. And it takes a lot, A LOT, of good experiences, (like all this love coming your way in the comments), to move forward. There are folks who will wait for you, as you can see. And those who will love you no matter your beliefs, values, morals, because they enjoy you… being you. Of them, I am one. :o)

  40. Hang in there bud. The haters are alive and well, but so are you. You walk beside so many of us who have been condemned for choosing to take a stand against injustice. To live your truth. As they say, to thine own self be true. Chose to live in truth, not hide in fear. God bless. Olivia

  41. Very well said. I find it sad that so many in this day and age think that “tolerance” means that everyone must agree with them. I really appreciate your words. I think we can disagree with others and still be respectful of each others’ beliefs, no matter liberal, conservative, Christian, pagan, or what have you. I am glad you are back on the blog and you definitely have a loyal follower in this conservative straight girl! 🙂

  42. I was wondering what had been going on since I hadn’t seen anything from you in my Reader in a while. It is clear by all the comments that people do care about you, and I don’t think that you will lose readers because of who you are. If people chose to stop reading your blog, that has more to do with who they are, and not because of you. Your blog is one of my favorites, and it’s because you don’t have the exact same thought process as me. Keep up the good work. For what it’s worth, I think you are pretty awesome. Hugs!

  43. I disagree strongly with the person who gave you cause to write that title. You are most certainly not a “Murican.” I don’t even like that the word or concept exists, because it is such a hateful concept, even when used in jest.

    I agree even more strongly with Monica P, who wrote the first comment on this post. I absolutely cannot say it better than she did, for simplicity and completeness of ideas. I doubt there is much you would say that could drive me away anyway, as long as you hold off on name calling.

    You have had very different views of the world than I have, and I appreciate that you share those views. They give me a lot to think about, usually to my betterment. Thank you for being you. Please do keep writing, even if it is sometimes just light meaningless fluff pieces, because then we know at you are still doing okay. 🙂 And the positive interaction is good for your soul.

    Perhaps you could pick up a used voice recorder and dictate your thoughts, to help streamline the writing process?

    Oh, and I’m swatching to cast on for a bear from your pattern. I’ll be sure to share pictures of him when he’s finished (though I’m a slow knitter, so it might be a while). 🙂

  44. I LOVE THIS POST!!!!

    got the t-shirt. it’s a hard, befuzzling thing to be an lgbt conservative. from one lgbt ‘murican to another – you are awesome. big ‘murican hugs.

  45. The world would be a very boring place if we all had the same values, interests….

    I’m rather new to your blog, but I love reading it. We most likely don’t share the same values, but I would love to discuss them with you. This is a bit difficult since we have the Atlantic between us.

  46. I don’t believe in labelling people in any ways. Being honest is pretty much the key, otherwise sooner or later something will turn up bad. You’re doing great and even I don’t really know you I think you’re a really good guy. Keep doing what you do and eventually everything that is supposed to come will come to you anyway. 😉

  47. I discovered your blog after your last post, instantly signed up because you are so different from me, and I was very interested, wanted to hear more from you. Then I never got another post in my feed. I thought I’d broken your blog! so relieved to see you back again, and encourage you to realize that no matter who may criticize, there will still be a lot of followers for you. Take heart!

  48. Oh my dear Greg, how we are is so much more than what we believe, I have never stopped being friends with any one no matter what, unless they walk away from me, they are stuck with me! This has caused me some strange moves when my work side needs to be completely clear and someone I know was convicted of a crime, due to mainly stupidity, that could impact this. But I refuse to chose those around me due to their beliefs, which occasionally means I like two opposing arguments in the big Scottish political battle (the referendum which seems to have no middle ground) but I like a good argument, and can agree to disagree and still enjoy my time with folks.
    What I am trying to say, is I do not care what you believe, as long as you do not expect me to just agree I will always be here. Life is more interesting with differences and light and darkness. I may also say how much fun your bears have been and how much laughter they have brought to my life. It has been particularly hard for me this last few months, and having them has been a bright point. I will send you the ones I took of my son and his bear (yes same son who said he was too old for a bear) and his smile is wonderful.
    Keep your head up and know that you are loved by us.
    Happy knitting.

  49. I have to say that you have many many followers who would respect your rights to state your opinions and love you the more for doing so. That is how I feel at least, though I don’t always comment, I haven’t ordered a bear (on a very tight fixed income) but I though I’ve never met, most likely never will meet, I am so very, very proud of you. I am a mother to two sons born 13 yrs apart on the same day. They are as different as night and day in so very many ways.. one a right wing conservative “red neck” (his words not mine) the other is the total opposite, loves Obama, supports all equal rights campaigns and is not afraid to argue for the Liberal side of the equation. As for me, I learned long ago to sit and nod my head, listen to both sides and form my own ideas and decisions. When one asks if I voted their way I’ll just nod my head or say yes, of course I say that to both of them, ROFL.
    I guess I’m in the line for you to share with what you need to express.. if someone doesn’t like it. their problem, they choose to leave you.. I’m sure there is another waiting to take his/her place. That being said it is your blog dear one.. many of us love and respect you..
    May your needles be busy, your patterns be easy and your yarn always be free of knots!!!.. (This was my New Years wish for my friends this year.now I’ve seen it posted in several other places as if they penned it themselves, LOL.. odd how one wish can spread so far.)

  50. What Monica P. said! I’m new-ish to reading your blog but I really enjoy it. Sometimes it’s hard to balance what-to-blog and what-not-to-blog, especially when it has to do with making a living! You can’t please everyone and that’s the hardest thing to reconcile sometimes. Your supporters will outweigh your critics!

  51. Wouldn’t life be so bloody boring if we all had the same views? I also struggle with being a bit outspoken, and sometimes with worrying that what I have said may have been taken personally by others. Supporting one thing does not necessarily mean NOT supporting something else, either. I am pro breastfeeding, but not anti formula. I like meat, but totally understand and agree with the principles of veganism…what I want to say is that we all need to admit more grey areas into life. And, like you said, talk and enjoy the difference and the dialogue and see it as stimulating rather than a disconnection. Knit on, brother!

  52. i’m an american too. i don’t know your politics, but didn’t bush say it best? when he said “if you oppose the war you support terrorism?” and thus we went into war based on lies, spent a trillion dollars, over 4000 american heroes lost their lives, who knows how many wounded, who knows how many came back with ptsd and no help from the government that sent them there. but that’s my opinion, and you have one too. i will defend to the death your right to your opinion and you’re right to be wrong. but you have to speak up. just do it in a civil manner

  53. I have not been so taken by a blog post in a very long time, so raw, so courageous and so telling of the place this country is in. We are at a place not much different from when this country was founded. It took guts back then to be a patriot and I think it takes guts now, especially in the gay community. We are at a place where many have fallen out of love with the idea of America and the freedom it represents and the responsibility that goes with that freedom. And those that have, find themselves without a country and that is a very uneasy feeling. So they go about trying to change others and judging and hating those that have not gotten the memo, that you can no longer be a flag and gun toting constitution loving, conservative patriot. The media is about control, this president is about big government and control and it has been decided that if you are against these things you are to be labeled. You will be labeled as racist, and many other untrue things. And ironically, intolerant. Ironically because the reality is that those that would choose to judge are the intolerant ones. They are the ones that have fallen out of love with America.

    And as a knitter, shepherd living in purple Virginia, I find myself having to check my speech sometimes, then I think, what the heck? Am I still living in America? Then I think, yes, and I refuse to let intolerant people to take my country from me, so I speak. So I teach, inform, raise awareness about how awesome our constitution is and how it protects precious rights like freedom of speech. And about how many would undermine this document and that it takes standing up and speaking up so that others will not be afraid to do so.

    Well, not meaning to make this so long, but I want you to know that this conservative who is Christian is in your corner. I know being gay gives you a tougher road to walk than most. And I was wondering how it became a requirement of your sexuality that you be a leftist. How crazy is that and again, why? It seems about that control thing. And why do leftists seem to be about control? I harken back to being on the playground as a kid and the bullies usually were the insecure ones, not comfortable in their own skin and acting out aggression on others because of this.

    I want my country back. I want guys like you to be embraced for the great guy that you are, not shunned because you are a gay conservative. Not shunned for any reason. I want the judgements to stop, I want the divisiveness to stop. I want to add also, that I would like to donate yarn for your bears. It would be an honor.

  54. I have to admit I’m surprised you’d identify yourself with a group of people that disallow you the same freedoms given to straight males. I can’t like a group that would deny other human beings the rights they themselves enjoy. However, if you feel being conservative is best for you, then who am I to say you can’t be that? I love you anyway.

  55. I am sorry you feel lonely, it is a miserable feeling. You know you are loved and yet something is missing. You have talent and your writing is exceptional. You can tell that from how many fans you have. We have a group of knitters and the rule is not to discuss politics or religion, so that no one has to feel they need to defend their position. It doesn’t always work, but we know that none of us would try to hurt another’s feelings and we are all human and make mistakes. That is why apologies were invented. What you do is inspiring, I’m too afraid to make any of my talents make money for me because the business end is too difficult for me. Knit on and smile, it is a great way to make friendships. Knitting in public is how I have connected with many people and I always say being taught to knit was the greatest present I ever received.

  56. Glad to see you writing a post again and wow! what a post. The comments above have been just as interesting. We follow you because we respect what you have to say and enjoying reading your thoughtful posts. Civility and tolerance exists but sadly today it is often drowned out by noise and selfishness. Based on the comment responses others have shared it is evident that civility and tolerance still exists so please keep writing.

  57. Honey, do not be afraid to be yourself and to be true to yourself, always. It shows in your blog and it is why I follow you (though I rarely comment or email). I do not understand everything you are going through or have experienced, because your country is not mine, your life is not mine… but that just makes for interesting dialogue, no?

    We need more people like you who can respectfully agree to disagree without damaging the relationship you have with those you speak with. That is a talent we see too rarely lately. Just as we are losing the art of writing (when was the last time any of us mailed a hand-written letter to a friend?), we are losing the art of true conversation.

    I enjoy your frank honesty, and would rather disagree with you than not hear from you. Do not let others shackle you down with their fears and insecurities.

  58. Living it one stitch at a time, myself – designing knitwear on the side. Keep going, keep doing what makes you happy. Forget the haters – they fill the void in their life by trying to rob someone else of what they themselves can’t have/find.

  59. as usual saying what you think…in my eyes you are not “a gay man”..you are simply “a man”  ..with opinions…who says what he thinks…keep blogging…if they leave you, let them…and close the door…and do not stop knitting..ever…

  60. This brought tears to my eyes, because I relate. My blogging has caused upset in relationships that matter to me, and I’ve held back from writing for a while now, too. You certainly have my support, love and blessing.

  61. you make a difference…because you matter…hang in there and don’t be afraid to speak your truth–we all need to do so in a quiet thoughtful dialogue that doesn’t incite violence…peace

  62. What a well written, thought provoking, and inspiring post this is! Having ordered a bear from you last fall (I suspect I may be one of the masses who asked that dreaded question…), I’m fairly new to your life. Your blog was a pleasant surprise, and has been one I’ve turned to when I needed to get away from the blathering and name calling that is social media. I, too, am a small business owner. My own employee. I, too, fear truly expressing myself and losing business, and “friends”. Thank you for such an honest look in to your life. I think I shall teach myself cabling in your honor!

  63. So glad to have you back! Just to let you know…I don’t care who you vote for, or which political philosophy you follow, or which religion you affiliate with, or who you sleep with. I care that you have heart, that you think deeply and are willing to share in such beautiful, eloquent posts. You are creating friendships….not just ‘followers’ (though I’m sure you have many of those too!). Hugs, Bron. PS Nearly there with saving for a bear for my baby girl!

  64. i enjoy your thoughts a lot and i like your honesty. so i will keep on reading your blog, although we probably would not agree in some points, but thats not the important thing, keep being true to yourself and thats fine.
    And where is my bear?????????? not finished yet??? :))))))

  65. Absolutely! This is what being social is all about – sharing opinions. You are doing amazing things and no one can take that away from you. You have every right to believe whatever you want and follow your own conscience. Sure, I’m as liberal as they come, and I’m British but so what. This is your blog. Go for it and live free!

  66. Welcome back! Judging by the comments here, I am not the only one who has missed your unique voice. Please don’t let narrow minds deter you from sharing your thoughts. There are plenty of us out here who love you for who you are.

  67. I’m glad you said what you feel. I agree it’s scary to say what you mean and mean what you say. Some people just refuse to be civil. I, personally, am conservative, believe in God and that tolerance and the free exchange of ideas is part and parcel of being an American, if that makes me a “‘Murican” so be it. I’m not gay, I believe that should be something between those involved in the relationship and that goes for whatever sexual orientation or gender identification a person chooses. I had a metaphysical shop until the economy crapped. My customers were mostly people who had different ideas from the “norm”. I had people come in wearing some very strange clothes, one had a bird’s nest in his long hair up on top of his head, another fella came in with a wire pyramid as a hat, a woman always came in wearing a cape. None of that stuff mattered, I treated them all as though they were the only soul I was supposed to talk to and interact with in that moment because that was the truth (that’s the thing many people forget, you’re not dealing with just the body, that shell that carries us around, you’re dealing with souls). The exterior doesn’t make a damned bit of difference. You have a shining soul. Speak your truth. Don’t fear. You’ve done a great thing by finding a way to make a life for yourself. You have friends. I’m one of them and I’ll stay one of them. God bless you always!

  68. please keep on sharing the real you. I love your blogs because I see you as a survivor. I have things in common with you; I’m a southerner and don’t like our president at all. And I have things not in common with you; I crochet and can’t knit at all. Life would be so boring if we only listened to, read, and expose ourselves to things that are exactly like us. I can stay in my own crazy head for that.

  69. I know what you mean. When people learn that I’m Christian they immediately assume I’m conservative. I’m neither because the absolutism on both sides is suffocating.

  70. I appreciate everything you have to say even if I don’t agree with it all. You have the right to say it and, so it seems, many people want to hear it. Thank you for sharing with us.

  71. if you weren’t lonely … then not sure you would have made the bears… and made friends… with strangers, who like to read your stuff and have a bear… and tell you they love you no matter what… which doesn’t seem as lonely. The difference between alone and lonely are good to consider. maybe. I’ve been thinking about boundaries lately, and the better I get at them the less comfortable I am with people who are not. But I feel safer and happier, and seem to have better friends. I’ve also come an age (ahem) where I am more careful about where I put my energy, and who and what I spend it on. Less on people who matter less. More on things I can change. Less on things I can’t. I knit slowly and with mistakes. Have decided that’s cool. Hell it’s almost a style! Perfection is over rated, in my opinion 🙂 Nice to see you back. Hope you keep writing, and finding your voice over and over. (ps. I’m happily (usually) married to a very conservative man, Christian, who does appreciate the right of gays to make their life choices and supports their equal rights. I am a Yellow Dog democrat by birth, meaning fiscally conservative and socially progressive. My husband and I connect very well on our fundamental values. We just differ on how to express and support them 😀 I suspect a lot of your followers aren’t looking to agree with everything you say, and are very interested in what you do offer – as a human who has interesting stories and perspectives. Note to self: buy this guy’s book.)

  72. I go to a knit group of about 20 ladies all from different backgrounds and of different ages and opinions. We have often remarked how it is such a lovely group and everyone gets on, even if they may not agree with someone else. You can accept others beliefs and opinions as THEIR beliefs and opinions even if you don’t agree with them. If we were all the same the world would be sooooo boring! (But perhaps a little more peaceful.) Keep blogging, please!

  73. you having a different opinion, political view or what ever then me does not mean that I will cut my ties with you. You have the right to voice your opinion, we all do as it is given to us in the 1st amendment. We should listen to one another before saying things we can not take back. I follow your blog because I admire your strength to fight yourself out of the horrible situation of being homeless. You try hard to make a living for yourself and live your life. That is admirable. You easily could have gone on welfare and done nothing else. Being on welfare is no disgrace. It is a hard fact of life showing there is not enough jobs out there for people. Some may be on welfare because they are lazy, others because they see no way out of their situation. I think you can be a conservative, a Christian and be gay, straight, male, female or what have you. I will not jump ship and abandon you just for who you voted. I believe just like you in the right of all to speak their mind and voice their opinions without being shouted at, called names, beaten or even killed. This is not the America I came to love. I am a conservative, I am a Christian, I am a female, I am straight, I have gay friends and family, some of my friends are of different back grounds, religions, gender, color, or political views. I don’f care. I accept people for who they are. What matters to me is how you treat people. That speaks volumes about the person you are. I am proud to call myself your friend and I will continue to give you my support.

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