A 7 Year Old Supports Gay Marriage in Indiana; Our Gift Today

0181 As many of you know by now, yesterday I wrote a piece called Dear Annie, This is How Indian’s Gay Marriage Ban Will Affect Me.  I woke up, expected to receive 30-40 views.  The last time we looked, it had passed the 200,000 mark and was growing minute by minute.  We are extremely touched and honored that my little piece about our small lives affected so many people.  We have received hundreds of emails, messages, phone calls and texts from people across the country in support of our marriage.  We are trying to respond to each message so each person knows how much you warmed our hearts.  One message specifically affected us on a deeper level. We are going to make a video about all of the ways we’re affected by the ban on gay marriage, things one might not even think about, but I wanted to share personally, to thank the mother of this amazing child, the message she sent me.  She is an excellent example of a mother in today’s times and I feel honored that she shared her story with us.  Please watch the video! Thanks again for all of your amazing support! It has been surreal!   Please follow us and support us folks! xo

Dear Annie, This is How Indiana’s Gay Marriage Ban Will Affect Me

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Dear Annie,

While trying to fall asleep tonight, my husband Alex already fast asleep next to me, our dog at our feet, I scanned my feed on Facebook.  After reading several news updates about the 4-5 fatal shootings today in Indianapolis, I found post after post about how Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, in a last ditch effort to save his agenda, moved the proposed ban to another committee, where it will be heard on Wednesday.  Interestingly enough, you sent me a message earlier in the day stating, “Peter, I need your help!  I am on the list to possibly testify in front of a house committee for HJR-3.  They haven’t picked me yet, but they are going to ask about any stories I know of people who are married or what not…stories of discrimination or loss they may feel.  I was just wondering if you have anything you want to tell me.”  Well, Annie, since you asked, and I’m happy that you did, this is how I feel.

Before starting, let me explain a typical day in my life.  My husband Alex wakes up and takes the dogs out before leaving for work.  He always wakes me up and kisses me goodbye.  This is something we started long ago, always kissing as we say goodbye, because we never know if it will be the last time we see each other.  We don’t have the same luxuries as some couples.  He goes to work and I usually go back to sleep for a few hours.  I get up, clean the kitchen and get ready for work.  Alex and I run a business together, outside of our “normal” jobs, so by the time I wake up, he has usually already emailed me or texted me several tasks needing completion.  After doing these things, I leave for work, always stopping by Starbucks on the way.  The barista I usually see at Starbucks typically asks me “how are you guys”.  I go to work and meet with my clients.  In discussing relationship problems, I share similar issues Alex and I have had and how we have worked through these relationship issues.  None of my clients have any difficulty comparing their heterosexual marriages to the same details of my marriage.  It is all the same. After work, I call Alex and we either meet for dinner or I attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, having been sober for 19 years.  Sometimes, like tonight, he goes to his mother’s house for dinner and I go out to eat with friends.  Sometimes we go see a movie or catch up on our television shows. Most nights at home are the same; we get ready for bed, turn on the fan and humidifier, set the alarms and show each other funny things we find on our phones, forever addicted to social media.  Tonight we discussed an upcoming trip to Miami and Alex’s haircut.  We discussed what he had for dinner and planned a date for this weekend.  He gave me a kiss goodnight and he turned off his light  This is a typical day in our lives Monday through Friday.

You ask in what ways do I feel I am being discriminated against or in what ways do I feel loss.  When you compare my day to any other husband or wife in the state of Indiana, I would say I don’t deal with much daily discrimination for being gay, other than the random faggot comment at the gas station.  But it sure does feel different when you ask me how I feel about 13 committee members making a decision for my life who have never even met me.  It feels a little bit like a jury vote on a murder trial and I didn’t even commit a crime.  I’m not going to sit and discuss politics and the process of election because that’s not what you asked.  You asked me how I feel discriminated against.

Well Annie, it amazes me that the barista at Starbucks has more courtesy than most of the people sitting on these committees to actually ask me how “we’re” doing.  It amazes me that after 19 years, clean and sober, positively contributing to the community of Indianapolis and as an addictions counselor having helped save the lives of the children of several prominent families in Indianapolis, that I am treated less than some 18 year old, meth addicted, girl who has addicted children and lives off of financial assistance, but I am a poorer role model to the community because I want to marry the “person” I love.  She has the legal right to get married, but I do not.  That’s pretty degrading.  That doesn’t sound like I’m wanted very much in the state of Indiana, does it?

How does it feel? While I’m reading this article about this person Bosma, who I don’t even know, who’s making decision about MY life, it feels like I’m hundreds and hundreds of miles away and I have no affect on the outcome.  Do you know why we kiss before we say goodbye?  Because we know that if we’re hospitalized we don’t have visiting rights unless our families allow it.  We don’t have funeral rights or financial rights.

We have no rights as a couple.

None.

And the really sad part is that all I want to do, is protect the person I love the most.  After all, isn’t that what love is all about?  I just want to grow old with the person I love and know that we can protect each other and our home for the rest of our lives.  But apparently, that’s terrifying to some of these people.

Do you realize that we can’t get a family gym membership together.  Or both be family members at most animal hospitals for our pets.  We don’t file taxes together and we can’t be on the same mortgage except as co-borrowers.  We can’t travel together as family members.  We can’t build credit together as a couple.  We can’t share a last name unless we go through rigorous legal action.  These are just a few examples, but to us, they make a difference.

Interestingly enough, Crate & Barrel, Target and Macy’s had no problem allowing us to register for our wedding.

And as far as this committee hearing, well, they’re going to do what they want anyway, right? Reading comments from me about how I love my husband and that they should respect my feelings  isn’t going to change anything.  But the times they are a’ changin, and they can either change with them or become obsolete. They might possibly be signing their resignations without even realizing it.

I haven’t met these people.  And I don’t care to meet these people.  I don’t want to know their politics and I don’t want to know their religion.  Quite frankly, I don’t want to know anyone who will look back on their life and have one of their proudest, resounding moments being their passing a ban to keep a loving couple apart.  That’s not discrimination; that’s sick.  And why are we more concerned with stopping the marriage of two men or two women than preventing the plethora of daily shootings in our state? What is wrong with this picture. 

We were married August 25th, 2011.  After getting married, we got a lot of flack from people in the gay community that we weren’t willing to wait for a state ruling on same-sex marriage.  This is exactly why we refused to wait.  Because, to us, anyone can have a wedding, but not everyone can have a marriage.

We have a marriage. 

Of all of the times in my entire life that I have been called names, beaten and degraded, and there are have been thousands,  justifying my right for marriage is the most degrading and discriminating thing that has ever happened in my life. The state of Indiana should be ashamed for not being part of the upward movement in our country.  This is a proud moment for not only the United States, but the world.  Indiana can be with it, or against it.

When I was younger, and called derogatory names, my mother would tell me, “When you walk down the street, hold your head up high and refuse to be a victim of their oppression”. Today I hold my head up high.  And so, after all, I haven’t lost anything.  It is the State of Indiana that will have lost.  Time will roll on and gay marriage will be accepted in every state in this nation; of that I am sure.  Any historian will tell you that history repeats itself and we are on the precipice of one of the biggest civil and human rights moments in history.  What have we learned from our past? The question is simply do you want to drive against the grain or float with the river.

I think I’ll choose to hang out on the raft with my husband.

Shalom.

Peter

It would mean the world to us if you could share our story! Thank you…

Peter can be contacted directly at peter@raannt.com and found on Facebook and Twitter

Alex can be contacted directly at alex@raannt.com and found on Facebook and Twitter

*Also check out my post about my experience being bullied!

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DOMAncipated! We Made the News!

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If you hadn’t noticed we’ve taken a small hiatus from publishing over the past few weeks.  Every years towards the end of June, we take a little break from posting to pull our creative strengths together and plan events for the following year…as well as enjoying our mutual birthdays.  This year we were able to take this little hiatus right around the time that the Supreme Court appropriately answered our birthday wishes AND Yahoo News let us participate in their story on gay couples reactions by posting our pictures and a statement from us.  Check is our HERE…We’re number 10!

Don’t fear…we’ll be back later this week with some new and exciting news and projects!

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!

Oh Lort…The SEXY List is Back!

We can’t even show our faces for this one because we’re sooooo embarrassed for a couple of gals here in Indy.  So, here’s the story. And you have to read it all the way through because it directly ties back to our annual SEXY List of Indy’s most amazing, most powerful, most beautiful, most desired and most confident.  The SEXY List bitches…and we pick the REAL people who deserve these positions, not just who kissed enough ass to a bartender or who knows an editor of a magazine or a newspaper.  Nope…if you end up on our list…you deserve it.  Except for one individual.

Last week one of our dear friends was celebrating her birthday.  We’d like to say that she had been celebrating it up and had an amazing week, but needless to say, she, an always extremely grateful person, was a little down on her luck and needed some cheering up.  Imagine her surprise when during her birthday party she received a text from two old gal pals, neither of which she interacts with anymore, including a picture they had made with her face on the body of a KKK klansman.  Now…we’ve been told by the artist herself that there’s two sides to every story and that we need to stay out of it because it’s between her and our friend, but when have we become so immune to the world around us that we think it’s ok to do that to someone??? It’s harassment.  It’s bullying.  It’s disgusting and it’s sick.

How many of you think this is funny? Do you think this behavior is ok? Should we be worried that people who we eat and dance with might actually want to lynch us or bully us into suicide? Further…what the fuck are two grown thirty plus year old women doing photo-shopping harassing pictures??? Do you have nothing better to do?

Here’s our dilemma; one of the artists has been on our SEXY list for the last two years.  We can’t tolerate this behavior.  We can’t condone it.  One of our friends commented and said, “I’ll be talking to her about it but I won’t be turning my back on her.” Well of course not…how dare we actually confront atrocities such as bullying.  Why would you want to be friends with a sick individual like that…no matter the background story.

Now let’s revisit our definition of sexy:

sex-y
-adjective
1. a genuine mix of physical beauty, confidence, attraction, humility, compassion, star quality, character and authenticity.
used in a sentence: “I made the sexy list!”

So you see, when we’re told that our SEXY list is a sham and that we just pick our friends, even though tons of the people who have been on the list we haven’t previously met, we’re in total disbelief because we put a lot of thought into our list, as well as take nominations and suggestions from others.

Our question to you…what categories would you like to see this year? Would you just like to see people or would you also like to see establishments?  Any suggestions on categories?  Let us know and we’ll help give you the best SEXY List ever…which will be announced at a special end of the year party at Lounge 54 attached to Brewstone!

Get ready, because we’ve been working on the list all year and we have twice as many categories as last year.

One last thing…The way you treat others really tells the world more about yourself. So…

Be Yourself. Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!

Til Tomorrow…

If you’d like to see last years 2011 SEXY List Click HERE!

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What Do We Do???

Lately, alot of people have been struggling to figure out exactly what it is we do.  We’re not sure why this is so difficult to understand it’s basically all written out for you, literally, at raannt.com.  “No, but what do you guys do?”, they ask. Oh, that. Well, we do have full time obligations outside of raannt, but for the most part, we have turned our passion into a full time career.  We interview certain celebrities who we find interesting, we review music, style and other things related to pop culture.  But that’s not what your really asking…You want to know what a typical day looks like for us…

Well, if you’re not counting Alex being in school or Peter being in his office, here’s what it looks like…

Sleep til 10 or 11 and then immediately get coffee at Starbucks.  Alex drinks a Venti Green Iced Tea-Unsweetened and Peter either drinks a Venti Coffee with two shots and two equal or a venti six shot iced Americano…If you buy us Starbucks gift cards we’ll love your forever!

Then we pull ourselves together, showering, getting dressed, straightening up the house from the day before.  We also have three dogs who are our children; Dunken(who we call PP), Tucker and Boo Radley.

After those things are taken care of we head downstairs to our office, which is our dining room outfitted with two computers facing each other at a huge eight foot, old dining room table.  Our “desk” is covered with iPads, iPods, notepads, pens, binders, post-it notes, highlighters and all kinds of stuff to make it look like we’re extremely busy.

Next…we check our ratings and analytics for the day.

And then…emails.  Ok, we’re not sure how many typical emails the average person gets but between our personal emails, requests from people to review their products, emails from PR reps, agents and managers, organizing travel and event attendance emails, as well as emails from all kinds of people who read our site just asking questions or saying hi, we get tons of emails.  We personally answer each email because it’s really important to us that we never lose sight of why we started this endeavor.

Although…we excitedly have plans for an assistant who we are currently working with and she will begin next summer!

During the afternoon, Alex goes to the gym while Peter returns phone calls or runs errands…Now, this should read, “Peter and Alex hit the gym every afternoon”, but that hasn’t been the case.  It is our plan, however, to get back to the gym routine again soon!

Late afternoon, early evening is spent on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, or scheduling certain posts as well as working on write-ups for the following day.

And then of course…the infamous nap.  Peter takes a 2-3 hour nap every day, while Alex watches tv or downloads music.

Followed by dinner, which is always out.  We do not cook.  Yes, we know how much money we’d save, but neither one of us cook and we both enjoy going out to dinner.  Usual haunts for us during the week are Puccini’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Eddie Met Salad or Yats.  Typically, dinner is spent on our phones, checking things and eating, while laughing and gossiping to each other.  We consider these business meetings.

If we have free time, we’ll watch a movie in the evenings or just lounge around with the dogs but if it is the night of a show we write about, or an event night(such as The Oscars or The Miss America Pageant), we’re busy Tweeting and writing.  Most nights, we’re up late together working on “raannt stuff”.  Alex always goes to bed by midnight, whereas Peter is up late, late…late, writing and working on stuff for the next day.

So…that’s what a typical day looks like…adding in Alex’s school career and job and Peter’s office hours and writing his book.

We are such busy little bee…but…not a day goes by that we don’t joke with each other, smile at each other, make out a little bit, pinch each other’s butts and remember how truly blessed and lucky we are to have such amazing lives! If we ever come across as arrogant, which we’ve been accused of in the last few years, that is not our intention.  We are simply proud of how hard we’ve worked and how far we’ve come.  People sometimes confuse pride with arrogance…something you’d think the gay community knows best by now…but that’s not the case.

So we just keep trudging along, now adding assistants and guest writers, and feeling blessed to have such awesome lives while we’re still living and healthy, because we’re all on borrowed time as it is. 

To those of you who have supported us along the way…thank you.  We consider you true friends and we will always have your back!

Til tomorrow..

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!

Don’t Ever Fit In! Be Your Damn Self!

I think what makes us fit is that we don’t fit.  We kind of groove to our own music and dance to our own beat.  Sure, we like some of the same things as everyone else; television shows, music and brands, but rarely do we ever find ourselves in a position where we feel like we fit perfectly.  And…it’s different for each of us.  While Alex feels much more comfortable dancing on stage to Britney Spears, I definitely feel much more comfortable in some low grade, bar with a small band playing in the corner…which I think is why I’m secretly in love with the new Gypsy Queens all of a sudden!

Alex is definitely the more outgoing of the two of us. In fact, sometimes I find myself hiding, literally, in his shadow.  Which is ok, because he enjoys the spotlight enough for both of us.  But even though he would say he “fits”, I sit and watch him downloading music and dancing to the thumping beats coming from his headphones and I realize he would be much happier on a yacht in Ibiza or in club in Las Vegas, mingling with DJ’s and discussing the newest stage of music.

Our differences are what make us fit…together. And those things that we enjoy, together, are the things that glue and cement the differences…like beautiful street art.

We both love staying up very late into the night, dancing when no one else is dancing, sweating and running to our car.  We love beaches and hot summers and laying by pools and doing nothing but shopping, eating great food and having great, loud conversations with our friends…all of us rosy cheeked from being burnt by the water that day.

I love Lana Del Rey, The Gypsy Queens and classic rock, like Led Zeppelin, from the 70’s.  He loves Britney Spears, EDM and Shakira.  He would never listen to country song, by his own choice, ever…but I know almost every word to every major country song.  He reads hilarious memoirs and I read espionage stories and pulp mysteries.  He could shop for hours in Louis Vuitton while I’m happiest in a vintage clothing or record store.

But when we lay there at night and look at one another right before we fall asleep…it works.

And that’s kind of what raannt is all about.  Making all of us work through our differences together.  Appreciating each others’ differences and learning new things from one another, educating and getting excited about things we never knew before! Hell, my introduction to an entire new world of Latin American culture is a huge example of this…but now I’m a lover of all things Latino…especially my men!

So maybe we can all start shutting up about our differences and begin to come together and dance a little bit more while we still have time!

Til tomorrow…

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!

Peter and Alex

 

 

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

 

We took this picture four years ago.  At that time, we were just a normal, gay couple going out on dates and getting to know one another.  That following summer, we started a blog.  The purpose of the blog was to review local stuff that was going on in our hometown of Indianapolis and to try to bring more attention on local events.  We never imagined that raannt would turn into what it is today and the opportunities it has allowed us to enjoy.  Three years later we are a website dedicated to reviewing music, style and pop culture.  We have been able to interview tons of interesting celebrities, meet new friends and go to exciting places and events, all the while staying true to ourselves and being ourselves. It is due to our readers and the people who have supported us along the way that we have continued to grow, and we hope, will continue to grow to be able to offer cool and interesting content daily as well as the same amazing opportunities to our readers.

Recently, we’ve had to become a lot more businessy because as we’ve grown the need for a realistic business model and all that goes with that has become evident.  This last week we had our annual raannt meeting; three grueling hours reviewing past content, throwing out things that don’t work and taking the suggestions of our readers.  One thing became extremely evident to us during the meeting…we needed to return to a strict goal of interviewing and reviewing only those things that we love, not specifically things that were trending or relevant.  Who gives a fuck if we love a song that was popular three years ago…we’re posting it.  Who cares if no one has heard of a designer or a writer that we love…we’re posting it.  We also want to get back to being more personally, rather than politically, relevant in terms of issues like bullying, same sex marriage and lookism in the media.  Being ourselves, fearlessly, has been what has worked for us all along.

Since the beginning, we have not been popular with certain groups.  They have criticized and ignored us, calling us arrogant and cocky.  We’ve actually lost a few friends due to raannt.  Fortunately, what we’ve lost we’ve made up with tons of followers, fans and friends.  Nothing compares to a 50 year old man coming out or a teenager afraid to come out due to bullying, thanking us via an email, Tweet or Facebook message for being ourselves and encouraging them to do the same.  It happens daily and we are forever grateful for being part of their journey.  So…fuck the rest of the people.  As our friend Danny recently told us, “they hate you cuz they ain’t you!”.

As far as raannt, this is what you can expect.  We will be focusing only on music reviews, style posts, television/film reviews, celebrity interviews, SEXY lists and a new, weekend photo gallery.  We’ve had tons of readers suggest and ask us to write a daily blog, talking about our personal style of the day or whatever is going on in our lives and this too will begin…with this post. And yes…the YouTube channel will continue.   If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The reality is that we are and always have been just a regular couple.  Gay or straight, interviewers or not, we’re no different than anyone else.  What is different than many is that we took something we loved, put action into our dreams and made it happen! You can do the same thing.  That’s what raannt is all about.  Being yourself.  Being fearless.  Being your own unexpected luxury!

So…thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging and those who haven’t.  You’ve all been a part of what’s gotten us to this place so far…and it’s only the beginning.  We have so many exciting events and interviews planned for the next couple of months that we are currently planning on taking raannt to a whole new level.  We are currently looking for guest bloggers for style, television, pop culture and music posts.  If you are interested, please contact us at info@raannt.com

Here’s to the future! We hope you’ll enjoy it with us and allow us to serve as a model that anything is possible!

Much love,

Peter and Alex

The Boys of Raannt

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