#Pulse visuals. Then and now

Considering what this blog was supposed to be about, it might seem unusual that I haven’t written about Pulse.  Well, I really didn’t know what to write. I didn’t know anyone who was taken from us. Someone I’m close to did lose several. I live very local. I went to vigils last year and was involved in events this year. I was still affected, it was difficult not to be. I witnessed such sorrow all around me and also such messages of love and oneness.

That night

We found out very quickly on the night of the massacre at Pulse.  We were shocked and living so local, wanted to go there immediately. The police were advising people to stay away. From listening to scanners we decided that it could still be dangerous so we stayed away til the next night. We went to a vigil at Lake Eola and to Pulse (well to a few blocks away) where National media had set up camp. I have also posted some photos from this year.  I could write about how upsetting this period in time was but I feel a little phony in even saying it. I didn’t personally lose anyone I  knew at Pulse despite someone very close to me losing many. I’m not Gay or Hispanic. So, aside from the cruel selfish act of one, that robbed so many people of their loved ones and friends. That traumatized a City in particular it’s LGBTQ and Hispanic population.  And affected the LGBTQ Community worldwide. What made me emotional was seeing people that I love upset, seeing unconditional love given to strangers and strangely, just simple acts of kindness. 


Lake Eola Vigil June 12  2016


20160701_22101420160701_22112820160701_22122320160701_22125220160701_221601IMG_-elgr6ePulse June 12 2016




Dr Phillips Center Orlando June 13  2016

Pulse and Lake Eola Park June 2017

 Orlando Shakespeare Theatre June 2017




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 This 1 action can help #TheResistance

‘How long can this go on?’

How many times have you, your friends and relatives said these words about Donald Trump’s Presidency in this short time. Many, many times I’m sure.

Maybe you’ve said them verbally. Maybe you’ve complained on social media. But how much does that achieve? One action you can take at any time and should take often is to contact you elected officials.

Be a pain in their butt so they can be a pain in Trump’s butt

Call your U.S. member of Congress or Senators in D.C.

Senators: http://bit.ly/2kko0Ao.

House of Representatives: http://house.gov/representatives.

There’s even an app that can get ideas for what to say. It’s called “5 Calls”. It dials and gives you talking points!

And if you don’t want to phone them you can always email them . For other ideas checkout Michael Moore’s 10 point plan to remove Trump, where some of this post info came from.



Thank you and please make calls often.











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#VPdebate2016 and #PenceHomophobiaTour2016

On October 4 there will be a debate between the nominees for Vice President, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine  and Governor of Indiana Mike Pence.  Whilst this debate won’t draw as many views as the one between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, from the LGBT viewpoint this is an important debate and is great opportunity for the LGBT community to highlight how vicious Pence has been to them and how much worse it will be with him as a Vice President. Pence has been referred to as ‘the most anti-gay  candidate to run on a National GOP ticket’.  The debate would be a great time to make yourself heard to oppose Mike Pence’s bigotry that he tries to hide in the name of Religion.

Governor Pence has shown how staunchly anti gay he is for years including enacting laws that discriminate against them. I wanted to initially write a regular blog post talking about all the terrible things he’s said and done, but that would just be reworking other people’s work. So, instead I will lay out the main bullet points in images that I would like to be shared on the night of the debate with the hashtag #PenceHomophobiaTour2016


HIV/AIDS Funding








Hate Crimes Bill





Being Gay a choice





Don’t ask don’t tell











Gay Marriage




















Many thanks for any of the images that you share at the time of the debate. Please remember to use the Hashtag #PenceHomophobiaTour2016



Below are the sources used in compiling this information





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Trump lies. (Not the obvious statement, but a collection)

I decided to do a post for Trump’s lies. But the sheer number of lies that Trump has told meant that the post would be this huge scroll of a post, so I’ve broken them up into separate pages. Please check the Navigation bar above. There will eventually be 20 or so pages. I may have that many read at the time that you read this post. Please check back from time to time because you know this list can only be getting bigger over time.

The main Trump Lies page credits all the media sources I have used in compiling the pages.

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Remembering #HarveyMilk: 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Rally Speech in full

I’ve read quite a few of Harvey’s speeches, but this one resonates with me the most. It demonstrated to me just how much he cared about ALL people irrespective of race, age or sexual orientation.  It also resonates with me due to its timelessness. The issues he fought against then, we still fight against now. It appeals to me both as an LGBT and a civil rights activist .  Harvey Milk is my activist mentor. I only really found about Harvey when the film ‘MILK’ came out. It really affected me. I was moved by the affect a person could have over others. I was stunned by the injustice of his and Mayor Moscone’s deaths and the bizarre trial that followed. As I said already Harvey is my mentor. He drives me to stand up to all forms of injustice.

Here IN FULL is Harvey Milk’s Speech from the San Francisco Gay Freedom Parade 1978. It was typed word for word (excluding minor typo corrections) from the official transcript :

“That’s what America is”

“My name is Harvey Milk-and I want to recruit you. I want to recruit you for the fight to preserve your democracy from the John Briggs and the Anita Bryants who are trying to constitutionalize bigotry. 

We are not going to allow that to happen. We are not going to sit back in silence as 300,000 of our gay brothers and sisters did in Nazi Germany. We are not going to allow to be taken away and then march with bowed heads into gas chambers on this anniversary of Stonewall. I ask my gay brothers and sisters to make the commitment to fight for themselves. For their freedom. For their country.

Here, in San Francisco, we recently held an election for a judgeship. An anti-gay smear campaign was waged against a presiding judge because she was  supported by lesbians and gay men. Here in so-called liberal San Francisco, an anti-gay smear campaign was waged by so called liberals. 

And here, in so-called liberal San Francisco, we have a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, a columnist called Kevin Starr, who has printed a number of columns containing distortions and lies about gays. He is getting away with it.

These anti-gay smear campaigns, these anti-gay columns, are laying the groundwork for the Briggs initiative. We had better be prepared for it. 

In the Examiner, Kevin Starr defames and libels gays. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Charles McCabe warns us to be quiet, that talking about gay rights is counter-productive. To Mr McCabe I say that the day he stops talking abut [about] the freedom of the press is the day he [no?] longer has it.

The blacks did not win their rights by sitting qietly [quietly] in the back of the bus. The [they] got off!

Gay people, we will not win their rights by staying quietly in our closets… we are coming out!  We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions!  We are coming out to tell the truth about gays!

For I’m tired of the conspiracy of silence. I’m tired of listening to the Anita Bryants twist the language and the meaning of the Bible to fit their own distorted outlook. But I’m even more tired of the silence of the religious leaders of this nation who know that she is playing fast and loose with the true meaning of the Bible. I’m tired of their silence more than her biblical gymnastics!

And I’m tired of John Briggs talking about false role models.He is lying in his teeth and he knows it. But I’m even more tired of the silence from educators and psychologists who know that Briggs is lying and yet say nothing.  I’m tired of their silence more than Briggs lies!

I’m tired of the silence so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it.

Gay people, we are painted as child molesters. I want to talk about that. I want to talk about the myth of child molestations by gays. I want to talk about the fact that in this state some 95 per cent of child molestations are heterosexual and usually the parent.

I want to talk about the fact that all  child abandonments are heterosexual.

I want to talk about the fact that some 98 percent of the six million rapes committed annually are heterosexual.

I want to talk about the fact that one in every three women who will be murdered in this state this year will be murdered by their husbands. 

I want to talk about the fact that some 30 percent of all marriages contain domestic violence.

And finally, I want to tell the John Briggs and the Anita Bryants that you talk about the myths of gays but today I’m talking about the the facts of heterosexual violence and  what the hell are you going to do about that?

Clean up your own house before you start telling lies about gays.  Don’t distort the Bible to hide your own sins.  Don’t change facts to lies. Don’t look for cheap political advantage by playing on people’s fears!  Judging by the latest polls, even the youth can tell you’re lying.

Anita Bryant,  John Briggs: your unwillingness to face the truth, chills my blood.  It reeks of madness!

And like the rest of you, I’m tired of our so-called friends who tell us that we must set standards.

What standards?

The standards of the rapists? The wife beaters?  The child abusers?  The people who ordered the bomb to be built?  The people who ordered it to be dropped?  The people who pulled the trigger? The people who gave us Vietnam?  The people who built the gas chambers? The people who built the concentration camps– right here, in California, and then herded all the Japanese-Americans into them during World War II.  The Jew baiters?  The Nigger knockers?  The corporate thiefs?  The Nixons?  The Hitlers? 

What standards do you want us to set? Clean up your act, clean up your violence before you criticize lesbians and gay men because of their sexuality. It is madness to glorify the killing and violence on one hand and be ashamed of the sexual act, the act that conceived you on the other. 

There is a difference between morality and murder. The fact that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than by any other single reason. That, that, my friends, is true perversion!

For the standards that we should set, should we read your next weeks headlines?

Well, I’m tired of the lies of the Anita Bryants and the John Briggs.

I’m tired of their myths.

I’m tired of their distortions.

I’m speaking out about it.

Gay brothers and sisters, what are we going to do about it? You must come out. Come out to your parents. I know that is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth!

Come out to your relatives.I know that is hard and will upset them but think how they will upset you in the voting booth.  Come out to your friends, if indeed they are your friends.  Come out to your neighbors, to your fellow workers. To the people who work where you eat and shop. Come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions.

For your sake.

For their sake.

For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene.

If Briggs wins he will not stop. They never do. Like all mad people,they are forced to go on, to prove they were right.

There will be no safe “closet” for any gay person.

So break out of yours today-tear the damn thing down once and for all!

And finally

Most of all

I’m tired of the silence from the White House.

Jimmy Carter : You talked about human rights a lot. In fact you want to be the world’s leader for human rights. Well, damn it, lead!!!  There are some fifteen to twenty million lesbians and gay men in this nation listening very carefully.

Jimmy Carter: When are you going to talk about their rights?

You talk a lot about the Bible. But when are you going to talk about that most important part: “Love thy neighbor” [? ]After all, she may be gay.

Jimmy Carter: The time has come for lesbians and gay men to come out– and they are. Now the time has come for you to speak out. When are you?

Until you speak out against hatred, bigotry, madness, you are just Jimmy Carter. When you do, then and only then, will some twenty million lesbians and gay men be able to say Jimmy Carter is our President too!

Jimmy Carter, you have the choice: How many more years?

How much more damage?

How much more violence?

How many more lives?

History says that, like all groups seeking their rights, sooner or later we will win.

The question is: when?

Jimmy Carter, you have to make the choice– it’s in your hands: either years of violence… or you can help turn the pages of history that much faster.

It is up to you. An[And] now, before it becomes too late, come to California and speak out against Briggs.

If you don’t then we will come to you!

If you do not speak out, if you remain silent, if you do not lift your voice against Briggs, then I call upon lesbians and gay men from all over the nation… your nation to gather in Washington…one year from now…on that national day of freedom, the fourth of July..the fourth of July, 1979… to gather in Washington on that very same spot where over a decade ago Dr Martin Luther King spoke to a nation of his dreams…dreams that are fast fading, dreams that to many million in this nation have become nightmares rather than dreams.

I call upon all minorities especially lesbians and gay men to wake up from their dreams.. to gather on Washington and tell Jimmy Carter and their nation: “Wake up,…wake up, America…no more racism, no more sexism, no more ageism, no more hatred..no more!”

It’s up to you, Jimmy Carter…Do you want to go down in history as as a person who would not listen…or do ou want to go down in history as a leader,as a President?

Jimmy Carter: listen to us today..or you will have to listen to lesbians and gay men from all over this nation as they gather in Washington next year.

For we will gather there and we will tell you about America and what it really stands for.

And to the bigots, to the John Briggs, to the Anita Bryants, to the Kevin Starrs and all their ilk…let me remind you what America is…listen carefully.

On the Statue of Liberty it says: “Give me you tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…” In the Declaration of Independence it is written: “Al men are created equal and they are endowed with certain inalienable rights…” And in our National Anthem it says: “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free.”

For Mr Briggs and Mrs Bryant and Mr Starr and all the bigots out there: That’s what America is. No matter how hard you try, you cannot erase those words from the Declaration of Independence.No matter how hard you try, you cannot chip those words from off the base of the Statue of Liberty. An[d] no matter how hard you cannot sing the “Star Spangled Banner” without those words.

That is what America is.












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‘Credence’ – The First #LGBT #SciFi Film



‘We’re all made of stars’


The short film is the story of an LGBT family 2 gay fathers and the ultimate sacrifice they make to save their daughter during the evacuation of planet earth as it is made uninhabitable by catastrophic storms.

The film challenges and redefines the portrayal of LGBT in film. In particular, it pushes SciFi Film, in an encouraging, more progressive direction.

In a press release Credence’s Director said

“Credence has a universal message that in any kind of tragedy it’s important that couples come together and support one another,”



Checkout the trailer >



This universal message, for me, is what makes it such a powerful film. In my opinion, homophobia, racism and hatred in general arise from a lack of understanding of commonality. People, despite social media and social lives move in close circles that they determine based on family and social influences. Attitudes and misconceptions develop towards others they don’t understand or experience regularly. By portraying a Gay family the straight world can see that Gay people often want to have children, they love and nurture in the same way as straight people. They are strong and courageous in defense of their family. Why is this? Because we are all Human. Love is Love. Homophobia seems to focus on perceptions of physical acts rather than the underlying principle of love. This film is the kind of bridge building we need to happen in a world introduced to the relatively new concept of Gay marriage. Ok, enough of me from my LGBT activist soapbox, back to the film.





‘Credence’ was a great example of an Indie film that utilised Crowdfunding well. The campaign was launched on Indiegogo in July 2014 and its goal was £6,000. The campaign was hugely successful, attracting the attention of  607 donors, getting 120,000 page views and raised £23,000, over four times the initial goal.



Credence has attracted a great deal of attention in the media check out links to the articles Huffington Post, The Independent on Sunday, Wired (1 & 2) , Upworthy, Gay Times, Towleroad (1 & 2), Advocate, Pink News  and JoeMyGod.


The Talent

 Alex Hammond – Scott


Has performed in Theatre and Musical Theatre for several years all over the UK ( see link above) Is a musician and Triathlete.



Anthony Topham – John

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 17.25.42.png

Has been a stage, TV, film and musical actor since the 90’s. Check out the link above for his extensive CV and great website. In addition to performing he also teaches Acting and Camera techniques


Tia Kenny as  Ellie


Is 8 years old and has already appeared in a feature film and several shorts as well as TV and modelling appearances.


Director Mike Buonaiuto.



Mike Buonaiuto is an award winning Director. His credits include ‘Love always wins’,



and Invisible parents

Aside from Mike’s film making talent, Mike has spent a decade working with Organisations and charities such as the United Nations Human Rights Office, Help For Heroes, HeForShe, ILGA Europe, Nespresso CSR, UN Women, Anthony Nolan Blood Cancer, Stonewall, Out4Marriage, European Network Against Racism, The Syria Campaign, Terrence Higgins Trust, StopAids and AllOut.org

In response to feedback during the creation of Credence,  Mike founded and now runs Shape History   a Creative Agency for Social Change with a membership of over 1000. Its goal is to link Creatives with the causes that they are passionate about.

Mike can be found at

Twitter: @Videographer88

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buonaiuto

Credence: www.facebook.com/CredenceFilm





Jamie Thompson


Jamie aside from being writer of Credence is also and Actor, Director and Drama teacher.




Tobi Coventry


Currently a freelance Assistant Producer at Dog Eared Films and Film Scout. Check his LinkedIn page above for more details.


Director of Photography

Leighton Cox


Check out his portfolio






‘Credence’ premiered at Prince Charles Cinema in London’s West end theater district in May 2015


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The film became available online Nov 2  2015  on Vimeo (link) for $5.99 check out the trailer for the film  >

 Here’s the “First Look” Trailer



Behind the scenes look at ‘Credence’ with Mike and his talented team

Photo gallery

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What’s next?

Credence will be promoted on the film festival circuit, and in particular at New Fest, Out Fest, Flare, Sundance and Raindance.

There are hopes that this short film will be  just the start of this story.

I hope so too.

Help this great film by purchasing the it on >Vimeo <

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#whoisburningblackchurches ? Blogpost , Map, Timeframe etc

I was a Firefighter for 10 years in the UK. In that time for half of that time I performed as an Officer in charge of a Fire truck. This involves filling out preliminary reports of fires which involves determining a cause. Also, after gaining the statutory qualifications for ALL Officer ranks I gained a Graduateship qualification with the Institution of Fire Engineers. One of the papers I passed with the IFE was Fire Investigation.

When I saw the recent spate of Black church fires, so close to the brutal murders at Emanuel AME,  I couldn’t help but be highly skeptical when I saw tweets on my timeline fobbing off so many of these fires as lightning etc.

This being said, I am adult enough to be able to accept evidence in front of my eyes. I’m not on a witch hunt just trying to get to the bottom of something that seems very dubious.

I started this post to try and lay out as much info on the fires as possible so I can make more sense of them. It it is only in its infancy but I will add to it as I find out anything new.

So, I started with making a Google map of the fire locations

One of my issues with these incidents is that we the public are expected to just accept the Fire Investigation reports as is, without ever seeing them. I’m sorry, but I’ve been losing my faith in the powers for many years. I think many people have. However, I believe that due to the freedom of information act we should be able to gain access to the reports. However, this requires applying to multiple county jurisdictions for the reports paying fees etc. This doesn’t sound too FREE to me. With advances in technology I think the FOIA is due for a makeover. The public has come to expect instant news through social media. Governmental transparency must be much more rapid and infinitely more accessible.

One interesting thing I found out was just how many Church fires their are every year. The National Fire Prevention Association has been quoted with these statistics from it’s 2013 report U.S. Structure Fires in Religious and Funeral Properties, This states that between 2007-2001 , 1780 church fires occurred annually, with 16% being intentional.

In researching various news reports one thing that comes across is the variety of agencies being quoted for determinations of cause of fire. Sometimes it’s Fire Departments and in other news stories the ATF or FBI. Whether this is because the local fire departments made the determination of the cause of fire before turning it over to the ATF, as required, or whether it was just reporters quoting the agency that was available at the time, is unclear.

‘Under the 1996 Church Arson Prevention Act, the ATF is tasked with investigating the origin and cause of all fires or bomb attacks that occur at houses of worship throughout the United States.’  (attr. http://my.gvtc.com/news/read/article/afp-no_racial_motivation_seen_in_us_church_fires_atf-afp)

Next, I’m laying out all the fires chronologically with as much info and links as possible.

Here are the fires laid out chronologically with various links

1. June 21 – 9:47 p.m- College Hill Seventh-day Adventist — Knoxville, TN   ARSON

Knoxville Fire Department found bales of straw burning up against the doors of the church. A church vehicle had also been set on fire.  Church Pastor Cleveland Hobdy III believes this is a work of arson and from the burn patterns in the video, evidence and testimonies of firefighters I would have to say I would agree with the conclusion of Arson as the cause of fire .

However the authorities are calling it vandalism and not a hate crime. With the timing of this first fire being just 4 days after the brutal shootings at Mother Emanuel Church, I have to disagree. I imagine that a definite determination of intent needs to be proven before authorities can categorize this fire as a hate crime.

Please check out the links. The first one is more extensive and includes video.



2. June 23- 4.30am- God’s Power Church of Christ , Macon, Georgia- ARSON


3. June 23- 8.30pm  – Fruitland Presbytarian Church, Gibson County, Tennessee- Lightning

Investigators are saying that lightning struck the steeple at around 8.30pm  but fire wasn’t seen until approximately 2 hrs later

Fire Chief Bryan Cathey said that a neighbor reported multiple lightning strikes in the area?

Neighbor Hazel Moss due to life experiences attributed the fire to a lightning strike  according to her life experiences

“I know lightning hit it. I mean I’m almost eighty years old and I know when lightning hits something. And it scared me,” said Moss.

She said she’ll never forget how quickly the church went up in flames. (attr. WREG)

From my point of view this seems reasonable. One thing seems conflicting though, Investigators said that the lightning struck the church at 8.30pm but flames weren’t noticed til 2hrs later (http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/local/Cause-of-GibsonCo-church-fire-determined-311085301.html) then Hazel Moss

“At first I thought it hit my house, but it struck the church across the street,” said Hazel Moss, 79, a neighbor who witnessed the fire. “I got up, noticed my window was glowing red, and thought ‘what in the world is going on’, and then I saw the fire.” ( http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/01/us-usa-churches-fires-idUSKCN0PB6AQ20150701 )

That sounds instantaneous unless she was misquoted and certainly not 2 hrs later.





4. June 24- 1am- Briar Creek Road Baptist Church, Charlotte , N. Carolina- ARSON




If you have any information about the case, call Crime Stoppers at 704-344-1600.

5. June 26-3:30 a.m –  Glover Grove Baptist Church, Warrenville, S. Carolina- UNDETERMINED, under investigation





Without more information I really cannot comment on this one.

6. June 26 -5.15am- Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church,   Tallahassee, Florida–Accidental, Electrical

This is being reported as Accidental, Electrical due to a tree limb falling on Electrical Power lines and causing a short. I haven’t found any witness statements for this one. The video shows a downed power line as stated ( http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/TFD-Responding-to-Structure-Fire-near-Wakulla-Campbell-Streets-310032681.html)


7. 6/27 – 7.15am- College Heights Baptist Church, Elyria, OH – Under investigation


8.  6/29- 6:30 p.m -Disciples of Christ Ministries, Jackson, Mississippi- Ruled Accidental, Electrical



Fire officials said some work was being done on an electrical box, which sparked the fire. It has been ruled accidental.

This was confirmed by the Pastor, who was there when fire broke out. > (http://www.jacksonadvocateonline.com/the-disciples-of-christ-ministries/)

9. 6/30 – 9pm- Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal,  Greeleyville, S.C- Lightning

Lightning was deemed the cause of this fire. This was backed up by debris analysis, weather conditions and witness statements. I haven’t seen any evidence yet and no names were quoted as witnesses so I cannot say one way or another .  This church was previously burned down by the KKK




I’d like to be able to call BS and racism on all these fires but with over a 100 church fires a month in the US I really can’t at this stage.  If I get to see some evidence maybe I can decide otherwise.

I will give more info as soon as I find out anything. Rather than create a new post, I will update this one. I hope that this is of some use . Researching it was useful for me personally as I wasn’t aware there were quite so many church fires (1780 per year which seems amazingly high. The NFPA attributes the fires to cooking and accidental mainly with roughly 19% being arson. A contributing factor also is that the buildings tend to be older structures that due to ‘ Grandfather rights’ are not required to adhere to all the most recent fire regulations and consequently more fires occur. It was also useful for me to be able to see where the churches were and the times that the fires occurred.

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