7 Days Til Ultra Music Festival!

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7 Days til Ultra Music Festival 2014!!! We’re leaving tonight for Florida and we couldn’t be more excited! Check us out as we blog along the way and review Fort Lauderdale and Miami including our hotels The W Fort Lauderdale and The Victor Hotel in Miami! Along with Ultra and all of the parties, we’ll be reviewing restaurants, shops and bars so make sure to keep up with us and follow our antics! It’s sure to be a hilariously good time!

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8 Days Til Ultra Music Festival!

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Are you ready??? We are!!!! We can’t wait to get out of the cold and head down to Miami! Follow us as we blog, Tweet and video it up through our travels of southern Florida, interviewing DJ’s and attending all the parties and events! We’ll be daily blogging all next week about all of our adventures!

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9 Days Til Ultra Music Festival!

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9 more days until Ultra Music Festival 2014! Check in with us starting on Saturday, March 22nd for our daily blog reviewing Fort Lauderdale and Miami as well as hotels, bars, restaurants and parties…as well as Ultra itself!

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An Open Letter to RuPaul, Big Ang, Tim Gunn, Reza, Abby Lee Miller…and a Whole Lot More!

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For weeks we’ve been writing about marriage equality and political unrest in the world, and while all of that is extremely important to us, we’ve neglected to comment openly on our daily medicine.  We’re sure many of our readers, like ourselves, have daily crap filling their lives: drama with friends, running errands, taking the kids here and there, financial problems, medical problems, on and on and on.  While driving around today, running errands, thinking about all of the things that were stressing us out, we remembered;  tonight is the premiere of LOGO TV’s 6th Season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

We are huge Drag Race fan and have diligently watched every episode and every season…at least twice! We have interviewed almost every contestant and winner on raannt as well as having posted weekly commentary.  In the simplest of terms, we are obsessed! While driving and thinking about this, we conjured up a dream of cooking up a huge pot of chili, sitting back with the dogs and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race tonight.  Instantly, our stress disappeared and we were at ease.  All because of our dream of sitting in front of the television watching some incredible drag queens.  You see, life is really that simple.

We spend many nights on our couch or in our bed watching our favorite shows, indirectly interacting with our “reality friends”; Shahs of Sunset, Couples Therapy, Mob Wives, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, RuPauls Drag Race, Kim of Queens, Catfish, Dance Moms…on and on and on! We’re total freaks for the real! So we thought, why not write them a letter and let them know how much we appreciate them.  Stupid? Maybe…but real fans write fan letters…and we’re SUPERFANS! So here it is...

 

Dear RuPaul and your girls, Big Ang, Renee, Drita and the other Mob Wives, Reza, Mike, GG, Asa, MJ and Lilly of Shahs of Sunset, Abby Lee Miller, her girls and especially the MOM’s, who we love dearly, Kim of Queens(Adore her!), the Chicago folks of 100 Days of Summer(family love Jay!), the kids on American Idol, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, the judges and designers on Project Runway, Lisa Vanderpump and your gals and crew, Theresa the Long Island Medium and your family, the amazing fashionistas on Million Dollar Shopper, the kids on Houston Beauty and Ms. J, the Hollywood Hillbillies and the Angry Ginger, Nev and Max from Catfish, Kim and her crew from LA Hair, Tyra, Jeff from Survivor, every housemate from Big Brother EVER, the entire cast of #RichKids of Beverly Hills +E.J., every 5 guy and a girl…and of course, Honey Boo Boo…

THANK YOU!

You have relaxed our minds, initiated amazing dinner conversations, given us something to look forward to and supplied a daily dose of the most wonderful medicine into our stressed out minds! While many people may knock you for putting your lives out there and call what you’re doing trivial, we applaud you and thank you for allowing us into your lives so that we can forget ours for a few moments, laugh and continue with our days!

We work, exercise, read, write and continue to grow, but it just doesn’t seem enough until we turn on the tube and see one of your faces.  Your turmoil is our turmoil.  Your joy is our joy.  Your successes…well, we don’t own those, but sometimes it feels as if we do! And for all of that, we love you!

And we think we should be your best gay friends!

Much love, 

Your superfans, 

Peter and Alex

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Response from an 18 Year Old, Catholic College Girl on the Gay Ban on Marriage

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We have literally received hundreds of messages and e-mails from around the world offering support and understanding about the letter we wrote in regards to HJR-3, the gay ban on marriage, in Indiana.  Tons of couples, just like ourselves, have offered their stories as a sign of camaraderie, and we have felt the support through their numerous stories, friend requests on Facebook, follows on Twitter and in small ways, which have helped us realize that with one step at a time we can change the direction of our country.  We even received an email from my father who stated, “Pete; I shared your blog post with our attorney and legislative liaison.  She was so impressed she forwarded it to a lobbyist who is working against the bill.  See one person can make a difference.” 

Probably one of the most profound messages we’ve received is from the mother of a 7 year old boy who attached a picture of him holding up a sign that simply stated, “I Support You”.  But the most overwhelming responses we have received have been from heterosexual Christians who have told us, over and over again, that we have changed their perspective on gay marriage, simply by reading the letter. 

Several days ago, we received a lengthy letter from a young girl who identified herself as “straight, Catholic, 18 year old, college girl”.  The letter was so heartfelt and so wise above it’s years that we insisted on posting it, realizing that our youth are really the ones driving the future of our country.  We had asked for people to share their stories with us and so we’re going to share her story with you! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Dear Peter,

In regards to your letter to your friend, Annie, I salute you for your honesty, but I also apologize for the fact that our state has forgotten the constitutional properties in which our country was founded. “Separation of church and state” is a tried and true statement and I’m not sure what has changed that has kept this from ringing true.

I am a straight, Catholic, 18 year old college girl. From first glance, it would not appear that we have much in common other than the fact that the media seems to think we are premium ”bff” material, but I think our similarities go deeper than that.  Parts of who we are have been mangled into these massive stereotypes neither of us wanted. In my opinion, that should be illegal before a law that prohibits someone’s emotional security.

I may be Catholic, but I don’t see it to be my duty to preach a belief set that makes others feel inadequate or to accuse people different than me as being sinners. I’ve gone to mass every Sunday since I was born and have never been told that being nasty and judgmental are Christian qualities. I’m not the final judge in any of this, but I have a very hard time believing the people yelling homosexual slurs at you and your partner are closer to Heaven than people like me who pass no judgment. I’m not gay, so of course I don’t understand how someone could be attracted to someone of the same sex. You have a male partner so you probably have a hard time imagining the attractive qualities of heterosexual relationship. I feel like this gray area is a normal thing. I feel like its okay that I don’t completely understand. I can’t knock something I don’t know, so I won’t. I don’t know how God feels about it, but frankly no one knows how God feels about anything. I could quote the bible as many do and say that that is why homosexual relationships are bad, but that doesn’t explain why they are illegal in the state of Indiana.

In my personal belief set, I feel abortion is bad, but that is legal. However, many other people think abortion is fine and the procedure happens every day. I don’t judge those women or the doctors that perform those procedures because, again, my opinion makes no impact on where they spend their afterlife. If I thought gay marriage is a harmful act, which I don’t, I could use the same argument, except, as you obviously know, the difference is that it is illegal.  This seems backwards to me. Abortion and gay marriage are obviously very different things, but they are both things Catholics and many other Christian groups like to oppose and only one is legal.  Last I checked, the government is not a Christian entity. I chose to be Catholic on my confirmation day. I made a choice, as did you when you formed your own belief set. What I don’t understand is why the government thinks they can make one of the most fundamental choices for you, and drag my religion and your sexual orientation through the mud with them? Frankly, the government and media make my precious religious beliefs out to be a storm of judgmental extremists and people of your sexual orientation out to be a bunch of flamboyant rebellions. It sickens me that they still have this power when the Pope himself refuses to pass judgment upon people like you and your partner and where “going against the system” when used with homosexuals can somehow mean “wanting the same rights the system already has.”

If this is published or a large group of people get to read this letter, I’m sure it will be criticized, but I’m okay with that.  In regards to your original letter, I’m glad the world has matured enough to only verbally insult you and your partner occasionally. Obviously, it is not ideal and I’m sorry there are still people like that in our world, but hopefully, this letter can be treated with the same “kindness” if it is read. The main reason I wrote this to you is so you know that the majority is not what you see on television. My religion is not the unforgiving blockade it is made out to be. Generally, it is composed of tolerant and mature individuals, like you and your partner seem to be.  I truly hope that you and your partner can someday have the legal luxuries heterosexual couples have. Just because I don’t understand all aspects of homosexuality doesn’t make me anymore ignorant than it makes the practice itself “bad”. People fear what they don’t know, but I don’t think fear is a valid excuse for manipulating the constitution. People make choices and decide what they believe. With that being said, I don’t think everyone has to think your sexual orientation is okay, but that shouldn’t constitute for a law to be written to decide for you either. I hope that you and your partner find security in your relationship, regardless of whether or not the state provides it for you. Indiana needs more producing and caring citizens like you and your partner, so I hope this doesn’t drive you away. I promise not to judge you because I know that media and government intentions make things skewed and I hope you grant my religion and I the same courtesy.

So here’s to things getting better. I think we are all good people at heart. I’m hoping someday the world decides to advertise that instead of the rigid stereotypes of today. We obviously all need a reality check.

Yours truly,

Rebecca

Much love! Please share your story and continue to contact us! We love it! We would also love if you would share this and keep the discussion going!

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

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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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