Friday, November 14, 2008

National Day of Protest

Please take a look! If you would like to participate, please email me at!

Mahoning Valley Pride Center Blog

Monday, October 6, 2008

Coming Out As An Ally

A coalition of local groups encourages “Coming Out as an Ally” during National Coming Out Week, October 5 through 12. Offered throughout the week are events designed to dispel myths about gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people, and to raise awareness about GLBT rights, culminating in a candlelight vigil to observe the tenth anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder.

Events include:

· October 6 & 7: Informational tables in YSU’s Kilcawley Center

· October 8: Two showings of the film For the Bible Tells Me So, in Kilcawley Center’s Presidential Suites from 12-3 p.m. and at the First Unitarian Universalist Church on Elm St. from 6-9 p.m. A panel discussion with local religious leaders will follow each showing of the film.

· October 9: Denim Day. Members of the GLBT community and allies wear denim in a show of unity.

· October 9: Two showings of The Laramie Project, in Kilcawley Center’s Presidential Suites from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and in its Gallery from 5-8 p.m. A discussion session will follow each showing of the film.

· October 10: Two showings of the documentary Freeheld in Kilcawley Center’s Gallery at 12 p.m. and at the First Unitarian Universalist Church at 6 p.m.

· October 10: A Night “Out” at Utopia Video Night Club at 10 p.m.

· October 12: Candlelight vigil honoring Matthew Shepard at 6 p.m. on the steps of the First Unitarian Universalist Church. A dessert pot luck will follow the vigil.

All events co-sponsored by YSUnity (YSU’s gay-straight alliance), Campus Recreation and Student Programming, Mahoning Valley Pride Center, Youngstown PFLAG (Parents, Friends & Families of Lesbians and Gays), Utopia Video Night Club, Partners for Workplace Diversity, and the First Unitarian Universalist Church.

For more information, check out our website or contact Brian Wells at or at 330-941-2308.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sweet Vinny

Louis made a video of Vinny...

Help us find him a home!  Please repost one of my blogs or one of Louis' blogs ( to help us find a forever family for Vinny!!


I grew up in an animal-loving home. I was fortunate for parents who let me have a variety of pets including: dogs, a parakeet, a turtle, lizards, hermit crabs, and a duck who thought he was a dog and liked to chase cars (unfortunately, this led to his demise when he was older and got hit and killed by a school bus!).  I have grown up with a love for animals and, like my mom, am a sucker for an animal in need.

That being boss approached me with those “Puss in Boots” eyes the other day.  She said she forwarded me an email, but she didn’t want me to feel obligated and quickly ran away.  (OK, I don’t know if that’s how it actually happened, but that’s how I have it scripted in my mind!)


Long story short, Louis and I are fostering a pit-mix that was hit by a car.  He was in awful shape and needs lots of TLC.  Somehow he ended up in the right place after being hit and that is near the car of a caring, compassionate person who was able to get him to a vet and they were able to get him fixed.  They had to place a pin in his hip and they were able to clean up some of his abrasions. They also neutered him while he was already under anesthesia. Lastly, he’s being treated for all kinds of worms.  Poor thing. 

Enter from stage left Louis and Brian.  We went to pick up this poor little boy 

yesterday and he was so shy and timid.  He was thinner than Amy Winehouse after a crack-binge.  He was very timid and the vet tech said he had been a little “growly” but he would stop if you gave him food.  He had an incision about 10 inches long on his hip from where the pin was put in and he had scrapes and bruises everywhere.  He’s on crate-rest for 6 weeks.

He got in the car with us no problem and was obviously a little nervous with us on the drive home.  He was so cute looking out our back windows like a little kid on a vacation.  Louis gave him a treat and, in turn, got a kiss on the cheek! We brought him home and let him sniff around the house.  We talked to him a lot and gave him many treats. I sat on the floor to be closer to him and he came right up to me and started giving me kisses!  I felt as if he was saying to us “Thank you for caring about me!”

We made him a comfortable spot in Charlie’s old crate and put him in there so we could introduce him to our pups.  Charlie and Sofia are accustomed to other dogs being in and out of our house and were excited to see him and their tales wagging!  I think they like the idea of having a foster brother!!  Lucy, on the other hand, isn’t as comfortable with strange dogs in our house and was a yap-bucket!!  Her tail was wagging the entire time and she is now comfortable with Vinny being a part of our pack.

Since arriving about 18 hours ago, Vinny has become so friendly is full of kisses!!  He can’t put much pressure on his hind leg (where the pin was placed), but he still manages to get around well when he needs to go outside or wants to explore our home.  Vinny has many challenges ahead of him, but he is going to make a great little boy for a family who is willing to give him the love and affection he so desperately needs and deserves!!  If you think you would like to be Vinny’s forever family, please email me at and I will forward your name on to the organization which is helping this poor little guy find a home!  Otherwise, please repost my blog or Louis’ blog ( to help us find Vinny a loving family who will be able to love him in his time of need and accept his love and kisses.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

As a semi-country boy, I grew up in a small rural “village” ( and was accustomed to having at least a little room between neighbors. Our neighbors were close enough to keep an eye on our property when we weren’t around, but far enough away that we had room to stretch out. How I miss having a little land around us!

As a city dweller, we have become accustomed to having a little less personal space, but enjoy the semi-urban life that Youngstown offers as we are extremely close to work and the homes of the organizations to which we belong. We also love seeing the changes happening in the city of Youngstown. Although many people do not consider the Yo to be a desirable place to live now, I predict in the next 5-10 years the Yo will once again be desirable.

As of recently, Louis and I have been having a battle of the wills with our neighbors. They are renters and have shown they are disrespectful of themselves as well as those around them. They have yappy dogs, throw glaring looks, and have extremely disrespectful children. They have no regard for the charming northside neighborhood in which they reside.

This evening we decided to enjoy the weather and our Martha Steward patio furniture and eat our delicious dinner outside. Through the entire meal we were treated to the joyous sounds of dogs barking. Our other neighbors said to us recently that they knew immediately when we let our dogs out because the other dogs always started barking. I proceeded to clean up in the yard a little after dinner and continued to be serenaded. As a matter of fact, nearly two hours later, I am listening to the sounds of the bugs outside and the annoying bark of the neighbor dogs.

Louis expressed unhappiness about our living arrangements and felt he liked our home less since the neighbors moved in next to us. His statement led to a discussion about the cycle of urban life and how we played a part. We have been in our home for three years today and have enjoyed every minute until the terrors next door arrived. We talked about how they are renters and the nature of renters is that they stay for awhile or until they wear their welcome out, then eventually move on. And this, too, shall pass.

We have discussed buying the house next door when it’s for sale next, renting it out to pay off the mortgage, then tearing it down to expand the land around us to have a larger yard. This would provide us the room to add onto our garage to have a side-by-side two car garage (currently 2 car tandem), provide more room for Louis’ garden, provide more space for our pups to stretch their legs, and more room for me to do landscaping.

We also talked about the need to stay positive about the situation. We tend to get mad at the dogs, but instead should be mad at the owners for neglecting to provide sufficient care and attention to their dogs. (Although I must make note, when we called the cops to complain—and the cops did show up—they denied even having dogs!) We cannot get mad about living in the city limits because of a couple of bad neighbors—we must work harder to be the change we want to see. We must not stoop to their level but rather let them know there is no room in our neighborhood for rude people who do not raise their children or dogs properly.

As activists, we have learned that making change means never giving up. We have also learned we must pick and choose our battles carefully to prevent wasting our energy on issues that pale in significance compared to the larger social issues our city, region, state, and country are facing currently. We must reserve our gusto for those onslaughts which will have a lasting impact on our lives. Bad neighbors will move on, but our battle against injustice will live on.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Maiden Voyage

I would like to thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit my new blog! This is my maiden voyage into the world of blogging and I hope to be more successful than the Titanic's maiden voyage although I probably won’t be considered historically significant in quite the same way.

I intent to use this blog as a way to explore critical thinking and analysis, express my opinions in a (sometimes) well-thought out manner and to pass on information to my readers which I find relevant to those living in the Yo and the Valley. As well, I hope to educate individuals about my life, thoughts, and opinions so they can pilfer through my ramblings to see what they can take away that will be valuable to them. I imagine my blog to be a hob-glob of random thoughts, stream-of-consciousness thought patterns, and occasionally the well-intended and edited formal intellectual conversations.

A little history about myself: I grew up the youngest of 3 brothers in the small farming community of Lordstown in Trumbull county. I am a graduate of Youngstown State University with a degree in psychology. Shortly after graduation, I moved across country to Phoenix, AZ, where I met the love of my life, Louis, and we started our family together when we got our first dog, Charlie.

After living in Phoenix for a year, we moved together to Orlando where we were residents for a year. Due to family health concerns, we ended up back in Ohio. We lived in Lordstown for a couple of years, but bought a house in the Yo and have been residents here for 3 years, hence the title of my blog “City Limits”. We have since acquired two additional pups, Sofia & Lucy, to round out our family of 5.

We are learning to enjoy life in the Yo and are becoming community activists through our various involvements and connections. We are both involved in the Mahoning Valley Pride Center, YSUnity (YSU’s gay-straight alliance), PFLAG (Parents, Friends & Families of Lesbians and Gays), and are allies to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. In addition, we belong to Equality Ohio and the Human Rights Campaign.

This is just a small glimpse into my world. I look forward to future blogs relating to things such as: the term “Pro-Mo”, family, friends, relationships, LGBT identity, activism, life in the Yo and anything that inspires me in between!