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Stories from Oregon

Last Wednesday a friend decided to buy an RV in Portland, Oregon. Knowing that a decent part of my recent life has been dedicated to ripping apart my RV and rearranging it, he offered to fly me up there to check it out with him and drive back down. Done deal.

Two days later we're greeted at the Portland airport by a beautiful 2000 Roadtrek 170. I used to think that my RV was the shortest fully functional RV, but I was wrong. This thing is only 17 feet (vs. my 20'8"), and still manages to pack in a bathroom, kitchen, and all that. The only thing stopping me from selling mine and buying one is the fact that it doesn't have a full-time bed. Other than that, this thing is ideal. So if you're RV shopping in this size range, check it out.

Here are a few snippets from the trip:

What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel Proud?

On jstJSH

Grab your spangly feather boa and your rainbow flag; it's pride season!

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Many places around the world have already celebrated pride this year, with many events taking place in the UK over the next month. Belfast Pride takes place this weekend and for the first time in a couple of years I'll be attending. There is an almost carnival atmosphere with some great events lined up every year and it never fails to disappoint on an entertainment level, but pride never fails to cleft me in twain; and here is why.

I have a major issue with the name of the event: Pride. Remember when you were younger, and you'd mention a recent achievement and that one sarcastic person would retort, 'What do you want? A parade?' This is very much how I feel about pride events. What do we have to be proud of? I'm not proud of the fact I'm gay, but that doesn't mean I'm ashamed. What it means is that I don't consider my sexual orientation to be a defining feature of my personality. It almost feels like we're flaunting our innate homosexuality at everyone else going, 'Hey, hey you! See me? See all these colors? I'm different from you. My people are so special we need an annual parade!' To me that isn't pride, that's arrogance. We should be remembering the years of hardship people had to endure to allow us the freedoms and rights we have now. We should be continuing our fight for the rights we don't yet have. We should not be ogling at semi-naked men dressed as angels and disco balls atop ridiculous floats and treating the day like a mini-festival. When it comes down to a basic level, we are no different than anyone else, so please stop pretending we are.

If the suffragettes marched today, do you think they would do so out of vanity? or the promise of some mediocre Gaga tribute at the end? Of course not. They marched to make change, it seems pride parades these days march to get laid, or at least drunk. I'm not saying do away with pride. I'm saying lets refocus and actually use it to get our voice heard further, to bring about change. If we're gonna be proud about something, why can it not be something actually worth being proud about?

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