Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chris and Rick's First Video (Updated)

Here I am as you've never seen me before.  Let me set this up.

Chris's niece, Jordan, and her fiance, Darcy, live in New Zealand and will be married there on November 11, 2011.  Jordan's mom, Connie, who lives in Metro Vancouver the same as us, thought it would be a good idea for anyone unable to fly to New Zealand for the wedding to send their wishes to the happy couple in a video.  So Chris and I set out to make a video.  And what a video.

First, I had no idea iMovie on my MacBook takes movies (don't ask).  Second, we tried to make a serious video, filled with sentiments befitting the occasion, but the harder we tried, the worse it got.  Between not knowing what the hell we were doing and me becoming as giddy and crazy, well, we created a video all right, but not the one we thought we would.      

What I love about this is you see Chris and me exactly as we are, and how we interact together--infinitely better than any picture of us I've published on my blog.  This was one of the best evenings we've ever spent together.  I don't remember the last time I had this much fun or laughed so hard snot ran from my nose.  Brace yourself.

(Afterward:  Many years ago, the person that I am in this video would have disgusted me.  I would have found nothing but fault with him.  But, today, I embrace everything that he is.  Today, I laugh with and not at him.  That's my journey.  That's progress.)

Update:  Connie, who's still in New Zealand at the time of this writing (Monday, November 14) sent the following email today regarding the reaction to Chris and my video at Jordan and Darcy's wedding reception:  'I was a bit worried about how the Kiwis would react to Chris and Rick's video clip.  But they were the hit of the show.  I kept hearing people behind us say, "WHO are those guys?"  People were wondering if they're comedians."

No, no comedians.  We're just a couple of fools who had no idea what the hell we were doing.

Thanks for the great feedback, Connie.  Chris and I are glad the folks in New Zealand enjoyed our video.


  1. I made it as far as 00:59 before I had tears in my eyes and was killing myself laughing....I'm SO glad you posted that video, you guys are hilarious! Priceless. You make a very cute couple. :)

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Sarah.
    Chris and I got so carried away last night that I had to check out the video this morning, several times I might add, to see if it was still funny. It was. I laughed as hard today as I did last night. What great memories it will always give me of Chris and me together.
    Thanks for all the kind words.

  3. Sarah, I have to add one more thing.
    See...I'm not always so serious (like I come across in my posts). I have a funny side, too. That's the little boy that comes out in me and always wants to have fun and laugh. I hope I never lose him.
    Thanks again.

  4. Wow, you can see that these two are meant for each other. No question in that.

  5. Elevencats, I knew from the beginning that Chris and I were meant for each other. But something you should keep in mind is I was 32 when he and I met, and he was just 23. I was ready for a relationship, and he wasn't sure what he wanted.

    For years, I struggled with the very real possibility he would push me away, because he wasn't yet ready to be partnered. It was tough on me and tough on him. But, the good news is, love won out, everything worked for us, and we're still together today.

    I mention all this because I want you to know it's taken a long time for us to get to the point where you see us in the video. Yes, I know we're meant for each other, and I can't imagine being with anyone else. But no relationship is perfect, and couples, even when they love each other like crazy, go through some difficult times.

    Has it all be worth it? You bet it has. I wouldn't change any of what we've been through, good and bad, because all of it made us who we are today.

    Do I wish for you to find the love of your life? You bet I do. It will happen. Believe.

    Thanks for your comment.

  6. Absolutely Priceless Rick!!! I was laughing so hard I nearly woke up the entire house! Can't wait to share this with Dee :)

  7. What a thrill to hear from you, Jeanette. I was hoping you'd see this video and let me know what you thought. I can picture you sitting in the dark (at almost 2:00 a.m.?), watching the video, and cracking up. Great image.
    By all means show Dee. And please let me know if she got a kick out of it.
    Thanks for your comment.

  8. I loved this video of the two of you. You two are wonderful together. Although years have passed and you've grown older your voice and mannerisms remind me so much of the Rick I knew in highschool (that's a good thing) and how wonderful it is to see you so happy with your life. It just warmed my heart to view this video, thank you for sharing it.

  9. It's true, Rick, it's hard to gauge a person solely by their's good to see your silly side shining through!!

  10. @Loretta: You are so sweet with your kind words. I appreciate them.

    I spent so much time hating and rejecting myself in high school that I don't remember what I was like. I've forced it out of my mind. But I'll take it for granted you know better than I do.

    I'm just grateful I no longer judge the person that I am now, with the voice inflections, mannerisms, etc. I'm proud that I've finally accepted myself, and that I have love for the boy I once was and the man I am now.

    Thanks again for your comment. It means a lot to me that you left it.

    @Sarah: My hope is that I've been able to humanize myself for readers who've gotten to know just one side of me through my writing. I have a serious side, which, I guess as we get older, becomes more of who we are. But I also have a fun-loving, silly side, one that likes to be funny and make people laugh. He rarely emerges these days, but I'm glad all of you have seen him so you can get to know me a little better.

    Thanks for your comment.

  11. '....better get on that!'. Classic line Rick. Lovely video.


  12. Great to hear from you again, Donald. I appreciate your interest in the video. Glad you enjoyed it. As you can tell, it was a lot of fun to make.
    I hope Chris and I can come up with ideas for other videos. Anything you'd like to see?
    Thanks for your comment.

  13. Maybe a itgetsbetter video. You two are huge role models to young LGBT people, so it would be nice to have your video among those thousands of supporters.

  14. Supported!! Make an itgetsbetter video and put it up on youtube with a link to your blog. Your blog is a wealthy resource and yet many young people don't know about it or make use f it- primarily because we are more of the audio-visual generation and would rather not read. A youtube video will give you that 'in' into this demographic. This is especially important as this demographic needs the wisdom of your years expressed through your writings.


  15. Elevencats and Donald, I guess I never considered making an "It Gets Better" video, partly because I didn't know I had the program on my computer to do it (now I do), and partly because I've watched so many of the videos and don't think I have anything new to add.

    That said, who knows, maybe I could say something in just a slightly different way that would resonate with some viewers and help them look at themselves and their lives more positively. And I truly love the idea of making more people aware of what I'm doing on my blog.

    I don't think Chris would have much interest in appearing with me in the video because blogging is my thing, and he's really not comfortable in videos or pictures. But there's no reason why I couldn't do something on my own. I'll have to give it some thought and see what I come up with.

    I want to thank both of you for the wonderful things you wrote and for your support. I'm blessed that young people like you look at me as a role model and think what I have to offer here is a worthwhile resource. All I can do is be true to myself and hope someone finds something that's helpful.

    Thanks for the suggestion and your kindness.

  16. Donald, out of curiosity, and if you don't mind me asking, are you out of the closet yet? If so, who did you come out to, and how did it go?

  17. I don't mind the question Rick. I'll say I'm halfway in- I don't think I'll ever be completely out. Or maybe such a thing does not exist and it is a continuous process.

    Anyway, I came out to a family member. I wrote a letter to a sibling- partly because I needed the emotional release at a very depressing time, and my sibling has been super-supportive so far. I can't bring myself to go back to re-read what I wrote in the letter- I can't even remember what I wrote, but I know I poured out my heart in that letter. I had never been so honest, so naked and so vulnerable in my whole life. Its been a couple of months now and my sibling has kept my secret and gone the extra-mile to learn more about what it means to be gay and all the social issues there from. So I was lucky in that regard. I fear my sibling now even supports gay marriage. Lol.

    Of course it was a huge shock and coming from a culture where 'gay people don't exist', there had to be a lot of education and I tried to point out the right resources. My sibling has always been non-judgemental and this was one of the reasons why I felt safe sharing. I guess it is easier starting the process with someone you know will not judgemental.

    It really does feel good to share the burden with someone else and psychologically, things have been looking up for me. Even if I don't tell any other person again, knowing that there is someone I can be honest with is a precious gift. So I'll take it one step at a time and see how it goes. The future is pregnant with possibilities and I now try not to fret about the small things. They will all sort out themselves in time. All we have is today and so we should make every minute count.

    Thanks Rick for your support through all this. Your blog has always been a source of comfort and inspiration.


  18. Great answer to my question, Donald. You're right. You're never truly out. It is a continuous process. But, certainly, I consider one out when one has revealed his homosexuality to family members and close friends. For most of us, that's about as out as you can get.

    I'm thrilled that you recently came out to a family member, and, even more, that your family member is so supportive. Sometimes, all a young, gay person needs is someone to talk to and to confide in. Otherwise, you feel so alone and isolated. You've gone about everything the right way: you were cautious about who you told, and you provided helpful resources. Good for you.

    What's also great about having a supportive sibling is that, at some point in the future, when you tell your parents, your sibling will be there to help you and your parents through the process. You will have an ally, so to speak, someone who will validate that being gay isn't such a bad thing after all. I'm sure that will help your parents come to the realization there's nothing wrong with Donald, and he's still entitled to all the love and support he received before.

    Have you given some thought to what being in the closet to your parents would be like if you met someone special and started a relationship? I mention this only because I wouldn't want you to dismiss the possibility of a relationship just because your parents don't know you're gay.

    Chris wasn't out to his mother when he and I met, and he said nothing to her for years afterward. He thought she always knew, but I didn't like the words not being said, because I considered myself his "dirty little secret." In the end, everything worked out for us because I was still invited to family events, I endeared myself to his mom, and today she considers me her second son.

    I guess this is a long way of saying, coming out isn't always a clean and linear process. There are so many different ways to do it, depending on the people and circumstances involved. Just one word of advice: Don't prevent yourself from being all you can be, personally and professionally, because you're not completely out. Live your life fully and deal with things as they come along. Not avoiding your life will make you stronger and more courageous over time.

    Thanks so much for the kind words about my blog. Whenever I receive a comment like yours, I see I'm making a difference, and that the time and effort I put into this is all worth it.

    And thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I appreciate it.

  19. This is priceless…. I laughed just as much now, as I did almost 3 years ago! Their anniversary is coming up. Perhaps it needs a 're-post' :)

  20. Hi, Connie. Didn't know you were still checking out my blog from time to time.

    Believe it or not, this is the second most popular post on my blog. It's received nearly 10,000 pageviews since I published it nearly three years ago.

    Truth be known, it still makes me laugh too. What a couple of fools we were that night, but we sure had fun.

  21. Love this. I was cracking up through the whole thing too. I know how it is when you try to take something seriously and fail at it because it ends up not being serious at all, and that's a great thing.

    1. Clearly, this was Chris and me at our goofiest. All I remember from that evening was having a blast. It started off with neither of us knowing what we were doing, and it degenerated from there. All great fun.

      Thanks for your comment, Simon.