My heart could not be happier than it is in this moment, but we are at a crucial point in our project’s ability to move forward and we need your support to launch. As someone that has been bullied myself, I know the importance of having a FRIEND and what a difference that can make.
IT’S CRITICAL THAT WE RAISE $25,000 by May 22, 2013
The good news is that DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!
While we need your donations, we also need your dedication … because with your help … we can save lives. This movement is all about YOU. I cannot thank you enough for standing by us, for sharing in this vision with us, and for helping us to bring this dream to life!!
For the past year I have been working with an incredible team of passionate people that have committed themselves to making a difference and preventing bullying with Friend Movement Without a doubt, it has been the best year of my life to date. I’m especially thankful for my business partner, amazing director, and friend – Elliot London.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1. Change your middle name to FRIEND on Facebook & Twitter, then ask your friends to do the same. Be part of something BIG … something GLOBAL!
2. **Text BFF to 20222 to make a $10 donation to the movement, it will be added to your phone bill. It’s easy and fun to do!
Same Love, A Film By:
Jon Jon Augustavo
Jon Jon Augustavo
Director of Photography:
Mia Clapp Perfetti
Tricia Davis – Producer
Mego Lin – Director of Photography
Honna Kimmerer – Production Design
Miles Johnson – Lead Green
Evelyn Brodersen – Lead Green
Jennifer Terrana – Lead Green
Jennifer Popochock – Makeup Artist
David Herberg – Key Grip
Wil Drake – Best Boy Grip
Mike Dyrland – Best Boy Grip
Yu Chen Lin – Gaffer
Blueboy Sguiggley – Production Assistant
Seth McDonald – Production Assistant
Chris Duerkopp – Steadicam Operator
Craig Nisperos – Still Photographer
Austin Santiago – Location Services
Ben Haggerty – Story Supervisor
Sahwn Anderson – Transportation Coordinator
Nic Adenau – Additional Footage
And a VERY special thank you to Kerri Harrop (Music for Marriage) for her hard work and dedication in the fight for marriage equality and her devoted support to Same Love as an idea, song, and finally now as a music video. “Same Love” and the campaign to approve Ref 74 wouldn’t be the same without you, Kerri.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Same Love feat. Mary Lambert
(B. Haggerty, R. Lewis, M. Lambert)
Macklemore Publishing BMI, Ryan Lewis Publishing BMI
Produced by Ryan Lewis for Macklemore DBA Ryan Lewis LLC
Written by Macklemore, Mary Lambert
Piano performed by Josh Rawlings
Violin by Andrew Joslyn
Cello by Natalie Hall
Trombone by Greg Kramer
Recorded and Mixed by Ryan Lewis, Ben Haggerty
Macklemore/RyanLewis Studios, Seattle, WA
Mastered by Sterling Sound, New York City, NY
I doubt there’s much disagreement that “born this way” is the number one argument in play today regarding homosexuality.
In debating the issue of same-sex marriage, and homosexual behavior in general, a very common line of reasoning used by our culture to defend homosexuality is that people are born with their sexual orientation. In Christianity, those espousing a pro-gay theology oftentimes declare, “God made me this way.” In both cases, the claim is that you cannot fault someone for being born the way they are, and therefore homosexual behavior should be embraced and valued every bit as much as heterosexuality.
Homosexuality aside for a moment, I’d like to assert that Lady Gaga can sing “Born This Way” all she’d like, but the argument itself doesn’t stick.
This fact is becoming especially relevant today because we are now beginning to see the argument utilized to justify many other behaviors, with the most recent being pedophilia. Christian commentators have said for a long time that we would go down this road, but they were crucified in the media for suggesting it.
But really, did anyone doubt this would happen?
Why the Argument Fails in General
Whether someone is born a homosexual or not is a debate that continues to rage with “experts” on both sides producing data and studies that supposedly solidify their position. Personally, I think the debate is somewhat irrelevant for the following reason:
Being born with certain behavioral predispositions does not equate to those desires being good, moral, and right in the eyes of God.
For example, I wasn’t born monogamous. I truly wish I was, but sadly, I wasn’t. My natural inclinations and drives are aimed at having sex with women, and truth be told, as many as I possibly can.
I also wasn’t born patient. Instead, I was born naturally impatient.
And prone to outbursts of anger.
And a liar.
I was born with all of these things and more. These traits and desires come to me naturally, are quite strong, and are very easy for me to live with in lots of ways.
If you want to see many of these sinful behaviors in full bloom, you needn’t look any further than the nearest 3-year old child, who will be only too happy to demonstrate his true nature when you don’t give him what he wants or if you take something away from him. This may be why Reinhold Neibuhr has gone so far as to argue that, “The doctrine of original sin is the only empirically verifiable doctrine of the Christian faith.” 
Yet, each one of these natural tendencies is something every responsible parent works hard at changing in their child, and that each responsible adult should work hard at removing from their life.
This is why the “born that way” argument fails in general. Its implicit foundation is flawed because it assumes that if a person is born with a particular inclination towards a behavior, then it must be moral and good. That just isn’t true.
No one is born with behavior – bad, good, or otherwise is debatable, but rather it is learned.
All the things you are listing to support your argument and discredit my FRIEND Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” are learned patterns of behavior; therefore the foundation upon which it is built is not solid. One has a choice to act or not act on those impulses and to behave a certain way.
Sexuality, on the other hand, is a natural born TRAIT – much like being born with brown eyes or blue eyes. We do not have control over this because it is natural selection, it is in the way we are programmed and in our DNA. You can witness it in nature too, as humans are not the only species in the Animal Kingdom that are known to have homosexual members amongst them.
We as humans have attempted to create a more “civilized society”, but in doing so some religions take it too far – their motives are not pure. The leaders of the organizations make rules that serve their own personal need for attention, money, power, ego , you name it. Many followers believe in the rhetoric and go blindly without questioning how they formed their belief system.
It’s mind boggling to me that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, The Pope, could ever take an opinion that denounces gays as a “Christ-like” approach to lead his flock. Have we forgotten how much blood has spilled in the name of Christ? Would Christ have condoned the behavior of many so-called “Christians” as they justified their actions in his name? I’m pretty sure the answer is NO.
Christ was a good man that loved and welcomed ALL PEOPLE. The Christ I know, and the Christians I respect, believe in a loving Christ and a loving GOD that has created each of us in his image. After all, he doesn’t make mistakes and there is always a greater plan at work. It’s not Christ I fear, it is those that follow a fabricated version of him that makes me nervous.
Lastly, and most importantly, you mention in your blog that you are naturally greedy, naturally self-centered, naturally a liar, naturally unforgiving, and naturally prone to outbursts of anger, naturally unable to be monogamous.
Well, I have to tell you that I am “naturally inclined to believe you”.
Click on this picture below to read a full-report about BANNING GAYS and creating a “Traditional Prom”:
Diana Medley is a special education teacher in town. She doesn’t believe anyone is born gay.
“I believe that it was life circumstances and they chose to be that way; God created everyone equal,” said Medley.
“I don’t understand it. A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re chosing God,” said Medley.
This is an open letter from myself to DIANA MEDLEY and those that take her position:
Dear Ms. Medley,
I just came upon your interview regarding the creation of a “Traditional Prom” at Sullivan High School. Unlike many that may contact you to be angry or share their excitement over your position – I’m contacting you because I would like to have an open dialog to better understand your position.
From what I watched it is clear that you are a religious woman, but I’m not really sure if I would classify you as a Christian. For to be a Christian one has to be ‘Christ-like”. Christ throughout the bible welcomes all his Children, he never casts anyone aside nor did he encourage separation.
As an American, I believe in United We Stand. We are a country filled with beautiful people from all walks of life, that is what makes us special. We celebrate that diversity and afford equal treatment under the law so that all people are protected and can find happiness.
As a man that happens to be gay, I also can tell you that being gay is NOT a choice. It’s as natural as having brown eyes or blonde hair … you are born this way. Do you remember the time that you decided to be heterosexual? Probably not because you didn’t need anyone to tell you who to be sexually attracted to … it was a natural instinct.
My work is in anti-bullying and encouraging people to celebrate what they have in common while celebrating their diversity. I promote education, understanding, and respect. Your interview, in my opinion, works against that progress we have made. As a teacher, your job is to promote love, kindness, and to teach tolerance. Your interview only further promotes a position of discrimination and ‘separate but equal” which just does not work in this country.
While you have the right to your opinion, which is a freedom that we all have thanks to living in The United States, I have to respectfully disagree with you. LGBT men and women are faced with the same challenges that the human experience brings our heterosexual brothers and sisters. We work hard, we contribute to our communities, and we do our very best to live and let live. It is your position, that would leverage the bible to promote hate rather than love, that causes young men and women all over the world to take their own lives – or worse, it encourages others around them to bring them physical and mental harm.
Being that you work with special needs children, you of all people should know the harmful affects of bullying. It makes me sad that you cannot see the similarities simply because the person being bullied or separated from the rest of the community happens to fall in love with or be attracted to the same sex. This is nothing unique to the human species, if you took a moment to understand nature you would see that it exists in all of the Animal Kingdom.
We are all a part of God … we are made in his image … and we all have a purpose. He did not send us to this Earth and give us the gift of life so that we can waste our time judging others around us. He gave us life so that we may truly know the love that he has for us and so that we may learn to share that love with all those that we meet.
I wish you kindness and love in your life and I hope that when you speak publicly that you realize that your words are very powerful; they have the power to cheer folks up and they also have the power to bring someone into a horrible state of depression – depression that could ultimately be fatal if they believe what you say to be the only truth.
You have the right to your opinion Ms. Medley, but you also have to know that as a public figure and teacher, you have a more important responsibility – that is the safety and well being of the children you teach. Being exposed to gay people in school or at prom is not a life threatening event; in fact it is an enlightening one that teaches respect and love for all of God’s Children.
p.s. I have taken a vow to protect all of our youth from being bullied, no matter who they are. Bullying does not discriminate. It needs to be stopped so that young people, like Joseph (featured below), never have to feel ashamed of who they are or feel that life is not worth living. I hope that you too, will join me in these efforts.
It’s a typical Sunday in Los Angeles, but it hasn’t been a typical week…
As I sit enjoying my Kona coffee, my mind is spinning with happy memories. Did Adam Lambert, LeAnn Rimes, and Lisa Vanderpump really take their photos for our Friend Movement anti-bully campaign, “THE NEW F WORD”? Did the amazing Bonnie Tiegel, Brooke Anderson, and Tatiana Toomer come to our set with Entertainment Tonight? Did Lizzie Velazquez and Roman Arispe fly across the country to be a spokespersons for our work? Did Joseph Sears meet his idol Adam Lambert after years of being bullied and made to feel ashamed of who he was? Maybe I was just dreaming …pinch … ouch … I’m awake! After nearly a year of careful planning with an incredible producing team, our dream is coming true. So many incredible people are lending their name, time, and support to this cause; we are so thankful.
People all over the world are learning of our vision of preventing bullying by being a better friend, but more than that they are embracing it as their own. By changing their middle names on Facebook and Twitter to “FRIEND”, they are sending a message loud and clear that bullying is not OK for any reason and that they are committing to being a better friend to all those they encounter. It’s quite a simple concept really, but one that is far more complex when you dig deeper. In an age when we are all addicted to our technology, clinging to our phones as if they were our lover, we rarely take advantage of opportunities to truly connect.
We have become an impatient people. I remember when you had to wait until a person got home to receive your message, but now if someone doesn’t respond to our text in 5 minutes or less we freak out. We are multitasking more than ever. When people are talking to you, are you really listening or are you just hearing them? Do you go through the motions, feigning interest with a smile and a nod, or do you engage fully and allow yourself to pause and give them the respect they deserve? Beyond that, we are living in a time when everyone is fighting for something; power, money, position. I’m noticing that many people’s ethical compass must be broken; mostly due to feelings of pure desperation and fear.
We do not have to live in that state of fear, but we choose to as a society. We focus on the negative things going on in the world instead of celebrating the positive. We focus on our differences and allow them to create an invisible divide stronger than any military base; instead we should focus on how many things we have in common! We have become a society of ME ME ME instead of figuring out how it could benefit WE. I have witnessed many people figuring out how to make their way to the top while being less than honest, getting angry at someone that “stole their job”, and thinking that people should just hand them things. Those people often times make it, but there is no longevity in taking that route.
Also, a BIG THANK YOU to our super-FRIENDS that have been vital in brining this vision to life! I especially want to thank Shawn Adeli, Charlene Sonenberg, Ane Shields, Tom Shaffer, Kevin Noble, Joe DiCosola, Doug Hattaway, Robert Hammond, Frank Gerard, Brenda Martin, Tom Klein, Carl Moellenberg, Kyle Chan, Jerry Silverhardt, Alec Mapa, Mas Kuwana, Marco Gonzalez, Bill Pritchard, Al Geiner, Tommy Geraci, Kyle Blitch, Mark Steines, Leanza Cornett, Tim McNeal, Chad Hudson, Phil Lobel, Cindy Carter, and so many more … it takes a village!!
Bullying is a global epidemic that we may never be able to eradicate completely, but we can certainly work towards tipping the scale in our favor. Imagine what the world would be like if we could finally look in the mirror and find self-love and acceptance! By doing so we would naturally give that same respect to others around us; letting go of superficial labels and seeing them for the beautiful soul that they are. We all have our own journey to embark upon, our own lessons to learn, and our own hardships to overcome; why must we make it anymore difficult on ourselves than it already is? We must start by being a FRIEND to ourselves …
What does it mean to be a FRIEND?
My mentor, H, told me that the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated is no longer valid. Why? Because others may not want to be treated in the same way you prefer to be treated. It’s important that we ask those around us how they want to be treated and at the same time we should let our friends know the same about us; this gives them the opportunity to recognize and/or alter behavior that may be hurting us. By doing so, we can avoid a ton of drama and we can spend our precious time doing things that bring happiness to our lives. Even our silence is a way of condoning bad behavior. By staying silent you are telling those around you that it is OK to behave a certain way; thereby you are also responsible for the treatment you are receiving.
A FRIEND is someone that treats you the way you want to be treated.
A FRIEND is someone that will love and respect me enough to tell the truth, not simply say what they think I want to hear. Often times I have had friends stretch the truth out of fear of losing the friendship. Worse than that, I have had friends lie to me, when honesty could have saved me a great deal of pain in the long-run.
A FRIEND is someone that wants to see me succeed and be the best ME possible.
A FRIEND is someone that feels compassion and empathy for those around them; willing to take a stand and speak their mind if they see that someone is being hurt emotionally or physically.
A FRIEND is someone that shows me by their actions that they care.
What does being a FRIEND mean to you? I hope you all will share your thoughts in the comment section below …
The act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined.
Perception may be reality, but is that reality TRUTH?
I’m willing to be bold enough to tell you that it might not be, but as long as you believe it to be true then that is the experience you will have. If you think that something is impossible – then it will be impossible for you. If you think that your depression will never end – then it will never end. If you think you will never be able to get out of debt – then you will never get out of debt. If you think you will never find love – then you will never find love. You get the point. What we choose to focus on will be our truth and it will manifest in our lives.
Born out of individual perceptions that come together to form an agreed upon view/perception of the world that is recognized as TRUE. Group perception is a very powerful force to be reckoned with and can be used for “good” and “evil”.
There has always been power in numbers; but the real power exists with those that control the media because they prime and frame stories and events in a manner that is conducive to their ultimate goals. Thereby those in control of the media have major influence on GROUP PERCEPTION. We, as individual members of the group, can either decide to think for ourselves and ask more questions OR we can just go with the flow and do as we are told. Personally I like to ask questions and find out more, but that is just me.
The point I am trying to make is, that nothing is permanent and there are so many different ways to look at what is happening around us. Just because one person or even a large group believes something, it doesn’t necessarily make it truth that is set in stone. We can watch the news reports of shootings, robberies, bombings, and other horrible events consigning to the fact that we are living in a dangerous world that cannot change or be healed – OR – We can acknowledge that while we may never live in a perfect world, we can each do our part to tip the scale so that positive energy and light can prevail. As my friends and I work towards growing a grass roots movement to prevent bullying, FRIEND MOVEMENT, I would implore each of you to simply think about your perception of the world and ask more questions:
How is your reality formed?
Do you take what you hear on TV to be truth?
Do you have an opinion simply because a family member told you to have it?
Do you focus on negative things and wonder why only negative things continue to happen in your life?
Do you take time to listen to the perspective of others before making up your mind?
Have you told yourself that you are a realist to justify your criticism of others, but in reality you are just afraid of taking a risk yourself?
What would happen if 7 billion people on Earth decided to think more positively, embrace our differences, and work towards peace at the same time?
I believe that if we can influence and alter our GROUP PERCEPTION that the REALITY we live in will be forever changed for the better. The change begins with all of us as individuals – we must seek our own truth and share it with those around us. By being a better FRIEND to those around us we are showing compassion, empathy, and love towards others that are merely trying to understand and enjoy the human experience. The faster we can set aside superficial differences and realize that we have far more in common than we would allow ourselves to recognize; world hunger could be satiated, education could be improved, wars could end, healthcare could be extended to all people, the homeless would find a home, the scarred could begin to heal, the bullied could find self-love, and the echo of laughter would resound into the heavens.
Sounds like an impossible utopia to some of you reading, but that’s exactly what I’m talking about. The moment you let a thought like that become supreme – it will be truth. Our brains are super-computers and we are the programmers!
What code will you choose to live by? The choice is yours alone…I will leave you with this amazing clip from one of my favorite movies, “What The BLEEP Do We Know”
Tonight, as I sit at my computer after a long day, I am thankful for the simple things. At times I can get caught up in the land of consumer society, the need for instant gratification, and the desire to do/obtain more – BUT- in reality all of my basic needs are met. I have clean running water, food to eat, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head. Beyond that, I have my health and an abundance of love from my family and friends.
I’m especially thankful for the things the universe does not give me; for sometimes I’m not ready to receive what I desire. We all are here on this planet to learn life lessons, but also to teach. I genuinely believe that the universe has a funny way of ensuring that I learn the lesson it is trying to teach me. Why? Well, the first time it tried to teach me it slapped me in the face. The second time, it punched me in the stomach. The third time, it knocked me to the ground. The fourth time … there was no fourth time…I learned my lesson.
When I finally understood the lesson, a world filled with abundance opened up to me. I was able to then reflect on the initial desire; seeing with wiser eyes my ignorance and need to grow before being worthy. We tend to want so much, but if we were given what we want right away:
Would we know what to do with it?
Would we appreciate it or would it go to waste?
The roadblocks oftentimes teach us more about ourselves and are greater gifts than the successes. When we look back on the road we are traveling, we remember the growing pains and the lessons far more than we remember the celebration of getting to the finish line. When all is said and done – it is the simple things that matter!
My simple things are my most cherished memories:
My Mom rocking me to sleep as she sang lullabies, washing the elephants at the Lincoln Park Zoo with my friend Marge, farting wars with my buddy Christian, eating a tub of ice cream discussing love and life with my friend Jessie, drinks out on the town with Bill Pritchard and subway rides for a penny, saving birds with Joanna, throwing up spaghetti-o’s on my first girl-friend after we kissed, fishing with Dad, roller-derby car racing in cub scouts with Gary, recording Grandma make animal noises, lemonade stands, cracking my head open in the bathroom of the public pool, riding in the motorcade with the Clinton Family, polishing off a few bottles of wine with Doug, Mario Party pizza nights with Shawn, steak dinners with Julie, making love with Sarah, the first time I masturbated, learning about the Stonewall Riots from Doric Wilson, Angel Readings with Grace, climbing a tree, Mom breaking a nail teaching me how to dribble a basketball, drawing a life diagram for Rudy as tears rolled down my face, taking bandit for a walk, rum and juice with Charlie, giving the cats a bath, feeding spiders with Kyle, hiking the canyon with Michael, Mashed Potato Club with Kat and Pookie, singing jazz until my heart was content, attending mass at The Apostolic Church of God on the South-Side of Chicago, living with roaches in my first apartment in Brooklyn, my first real kiss, stripper circus with my BFF, blue-cheese olives with Joe, Church Kids with Mrs. Peters, Snowball Retreat via the Skokie JCC, holding Koalas in Australia, bingo with Carmella, cigars with the Midnight Society, belting My Way from the depths of my soul after having too much sake with Taylor, painting the apartment and realize the colors were poo and pee, coffee and hazelnut creamer with Brother H, Tommy’s Toffee, Cast Party with Jim, the bedwomb, collecting baseball cards, black label with Bubbie, tanning my cheeks as a lifeguard, being the worst caddy ever, peddling Persian Rugs, late night pizza in the rain with Russell, walk along Venice with Ane, owning the dance floor with Graham, walking the runway for Malan, roller-skating with Steve, my first Pride Parade, losing my carnival fish “Goldie”, picking cherry tomatoes from the garden, fireworks at the American Legion, walks to the Jewel, watching a storm come in over the lake, random trips to Lake Tahoe, singing with Robert, losing my first tooth, falling off the bike and skinning my knee, Student Senate meetings with Deb and Ted, creative sessions with Elliot … I could go on for days.
What simple thing or memory are you most thankful for?
It’s been awhile since I have written; shameful of me to neglect you all. Please do understand that it has not been intentional, but rather that my current projects have me tied up (not like that you naughty naughty readers).
My journey has been an exciting one, but not an easy one. The entertainment industry, as many of you may know, is unpredictable and is all about finding yourself and more importantly – your BRAND. My personal brand is one that is rooted in matters of the HEART – which many may think is hippie bull-shit, but for me it is what connects us all as human beings. We are no longer oceans apart, we are all connected. The work that I am doing is aimed at encouraging all of us to celebrate our diversity, but also to realize that we have so much more in common!
My latest project is an anti-bully one called, FRIEND MOVEMENT; a collaboration with Elliot London that includes two films, a you-tube channel, education workshops, an anti-bully photo campaign, and more. I’m working with an incredible team of artists, producers, humanitarians, and politicos from around the globe! We are inviting everyone to change their middle names on Facebook and Twitter to “FRIEND” to show their support of preventing bullying in 2013! Our website will go live this month with lots of cool ways to get involved and keep the conversation going. While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we do have the passion in our hearts to find creative ways to find solutions. Imagine a world where we could all be a better FRIEND to our neighbors and treat them with kindness – respect – and love. We have been taught to fear what we don’t understand and to focus on how we are separate from everyone else; instead we should just start asking more questions and educate ourselves.
As a global society there is work to be done, problems to be solved, and life to be celebrated – yet, we waste our time with superficial differences and labels. I’ve never been a huge fan of labels. I understand that they help us understand and put order on chaos around us, but ultimately labels do more harm than good. I’m a man that happens to be gay, not a gay man. If I defined my entire life based on my sexuality, how boring would that be? We must challenge ourselves to dig deeper, to be vulnerable to connecting with those around us, and to live in light – not darkness. What we focus on expands … so, if we choose to focus and feed the negativity around us we should plan to welcome the storms that ensue. On the other hand, if we choose to wake-up and welcome the day, seize opportunities to meet folks, contribute to our community, and forgive those that have hurt us … then amazing things happen!!
I promise to be better about keeping you up to date and hope you will continue to do the same. Thank you for being my #FRIEND.
I woke up this morning sicker than a dog, but happy to know that we have a #FRIEND in the WHITE HOUSE and that we can as a country and a global community work together towards peace and love. To my surprise, an angel donor who had planned to donate 5k to FRIEND FILM, doubled that pledge to $10,000. Because of his kindness and the generosity of all those that have donated, our original friend and sponsor of our project decided to donate the 6k that she had originally loaned us – needless to say, I lost it.
So, here I am when I first wake-up in the morning, un-showered, un-shaved, vampire make-up still on my face from filming KISSING DARKNESS last night – with an important message for you. A call to ACTION – Will you be our #FRIEND ?