Marriage license

Marriage license
Getting our marriage license!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicago is like vegan heaven


Mike and I love Chicago.

On our way from Denver to Michigan we decided to plan a couple of days in Chicago to eat and enjoy the city.

Boy did we enjoy it.

For our vegan readers, this post might disappoint as we only ate at one restaurant, the Chicago Diner. With only a couple of days in town we decided to go with what we know and stayed at the diner.

Vegan chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Need I say more.

Their brand is "Meatless since '83". I have been going to the diner since 1996 and although they aren't always perfect, I have always loved going there. Service can be hit or miss and we experienced totally great service all three times. I always get a shake. This time we both tried the grilled Caesar Salad with blackened tofu and it was DELISH! Christine and Brian were our serves and both are super-friendly and fun to be with.

We happened to be in Chicago during gay pride weekend and were stoked to see Mercy For Animals, one of our all-time favorite animal rights groups and one that we financially support, having a booth at pride. They were also in the parade. This might not surprise many of you, but it is great that an animal rights group brought the voice of the voiceless to gay pride.

There are a ton of vegan options in Chicago.  Happy Cow has a great list, including new ones: http://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/illinois/chicago/

This trip we stayed at the historic Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Avenue. I can't write enough wonderful things about this hotel. Incredible rooms, great, friendly staff, perfect location, great views. The hotel is two blocks from the red line which takes you right to the Chicago Diner's neighborhood.

If you haven't been to Chicago we definitely recommend a trip there. Let me know if you have any questions that you think I might be able to help with regarding a trip there. My email is vegandude@msn.com




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vegan road trip continues

Our 2012 summer road trip has been a blast and we wanted to share a few moments of it with you.

We were thrilled to see that the speed limit in Kansas is now 75! The trip to Kansas City was uneventful, mainly listening to OUTQ radio and enjoying the time.

Kansas City has a new gem in the vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude. We were staying walking distance from there and were couldn't believe there was such a place in Kansas City. Cafe Gratitude is connected to the same places in California and the food was crazy good. They have a lot of raw options and I think they have something for everyone. Definitely check them out if you're ever in KC. For us, it was a great place for our first night on the road!

From Kansas City, MO we drove to St. Louis, swinging by Main Squeeze in Columbia, MO for lunch. We have been to this veg haven many times now, never disappointed. It's about 10 minutes from I-70. Mike thinks their vegan Reuben is the best Reuben out there!

St. Louis was great. We stayed in the Loop area and had Thai food at one of several ethnic restaurants in the area. It was OK. Our hotel, the Moonrise, was gorgeous. Friendly staff, comfy room. The problem was that they charged an additional $50 for Suga! I don't get the extra charge but we left our comments about that and would not stay there again unless the fee (fine) was gone.

While in St. Louis we caught a performance of Opera Theater St. Louis's Cosi Fan Tutte and loved it. As a fundraiser for an opera company it was great to be on the other end and to totally just sit back and enjoy an opera. Plus, we were right in the front row which is a totally different experience!

From St. Louis we went to Chicago, and that is a whole other post!

We love road trips, and encourage anyone to go for it and plan one!

Thank you for reading! My email address is vegandude@msn.com


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The gay vegan road trip!



It's that time of year again and Mike and I are packing up for our annual summer road trip!

This year will be a bit shorter than last years' trip to Florida as we travel through the Midwest to Michigan to visit my parents.

We begin in Kansas City, then to St. Louis to catch an opera, then a couple of days in Chicago (one of our favorite cities!) then to eastern Michigan where the family visits begin.

We LOVE road trips. We are both totally psyched.

Road trips give us a lot of one on one time, which is perfect. They also give a chance to check out new places to eat, to check out new places, and meet new people.

This time last year was when I started this blog. It began as an opportunity to share with people our road trip experience from last summer. Our trip last year was 5,050 miles!

One of the many beauties of our blog is that so many of our readers have given us clues as to where to eat, what to visit, and have even invited us to a meal during this road trip!

My gratitude around this blog and all of the people we have met and things we have learned continues to grow and grow. This community around The gay vegans is beyond whatever I might have dreamed of when I first started the blog. Every day we get at least one note from a reader sharing a personal experience related to a blog post, or simply just thanking us. It's unbelievable!

So we're off. We'll be on the road for two weeks and I'm sure I'll get at least one or two blogs out. We'll be back just in time for Veg fest Colorado, which we are sponsoring!

Thank you for reading! My email address is vegandude@msn.com



Friday, June 15, 2012

Gay, vegan pride

June is Gay Pride Month!

Yes, we have a whole month to celebrate our community, our diversity, our victories and organize to fight for the victories to come. (I know, we can do this every month.)

In Denver, this weekend is Gay Pride weekend, with festivities downtown all weekend and the annual parade on Sunday. Mike and I like to go on Saturday when it's less crazy, and when there seems to be less drinking.

We are also kind of excited about being in Chicago next weekend and checking out their pride. Although I definitely have to let you know that we are more excited about being able to eat at the Chicago Diner!

As gay and vegan, we realize that there are still many bridges to be built between the two communities. The great things are that there are many more openly gay vegans today than there were a few years ago, that vegan is not as much of an unknown term in the gay community, and that there seems to be less anti-gay rhetoric or comments within the vegan/animal rights community as there were just a few years ago.

Imagine the power force as more and more gay people become vegan and more and more animal rights activists embrace equality. Holy cow!

We will be celebrating our amazing communities, our marriage, and our solid commitment to making this world a better place for all living beings. It is totally true that we all have more in common than not, and when folks who believe in ending discrimination, in ending cruelty and torture towards animals, in ending bigotry, and in tackling hate in all forms combine their strengths and work together, we can accomplish SO much! We indeed can change the world!

So happy pride everyone! That's what we say at pride events.

And by the way, if you live in an area where there is a pride event, check it out. You don't have to be gay to attend and I am pretty sure you'll have fun. Oh, and wear a vegan tshirt!

Thanks so much for reading! My email address is vegandude@msn.com

Monday, June 11, 2012

Celebrating one year and 100 posts

This post is to celebrate the one year anniversary of The Gay Vegans blog! June 16th, 2011 was my first blog post!

I can't believe that an idea to share more personally while going on vacation last summer catapulted to what The Gay Vegans has become. Last summer Mike and I were headed to Florida to visit his mom and I decided that I didn't want to write about the vacation on my fundraising blog.  That's when The Gay Vegans was born, and what a journey it has been.

I am beyond grateful to all of you who take the time to read this blog. And to share your experiences about whatever topic I have chosen. And to offer your love, support, feedback, recipes, guest rooms, and favorite restaurant recommendations!

Our readers have become so important to us. As much joy as I get with writing this blog, I get even more from hearing that one post inspired someone to check out a vegan cookbook, or someone to register to vote or look up their state representative.

From many states here in the US to Colombia, England, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, South Africa, Australia and more, I get to share my personal experiences with folks who in turn become part of my life. What an honor that is.

And even though the title of my blog is The Gay Vegans, I have realized that there is a vast community of gay vegan men. The Facebook page for Gay Vegan Men has 186 members! And just recently, a gay vegan won PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian contest!

So here's to another year of building bridges, showing how awesome being vegan is, speaking out against hate and cruelty and bigotry, reminding folks that we have so much more in common than not, building community, learning how to be a voice for the voiceless, and supporting each other on this amazing journey!

Thank you so much! Thank you for continually reading my blog and being such an awesome part of The Gay Vegans community!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The end of a friendship

Sometimes while I am enjoying my amazing life filled with wonderful friends, loving family, my incredible husband, I easily forget that my life was not always this way. I remember what is was like before I came out, before I got interested in human rights and animal rights, and before I was so comfortable in my own skin.

Today I lovingly let go of someone I have called friend since 1989. We were both in early sobriety together, in the Navy, and at one point lived together. I have loved him for a long time. He was part of my life in those challenging days when I was just starting to be OK with me.

In this world of social media I think we both realized how different we are. Maybe we have always been this different but seeing each other's Facebook posts made it crystal clear.

So it was with great sadness when I realized I hadn't seen his posts in a while and went to his page, seeing that we were no longer "friends" on Facebook. We have talked a couple of times this year about my blog and our differences of opinion.

It's not like I see him often. It's been about two years. But the love has always been there, perhaps misguided.

This blog is all about building bridges. My main mission statement would be that we all have more in common than not. That our differences don't mean we need to attack each other or demonize each other.

I texted him to tell him that I love him and that I understand.

The world I live in, the world where I live in bliss and am ever so grateful for all I have, isn't necessarily reality. I get that not everyone will like me, or that not everyone will want to be in relationship with me. I get that there will even be those who dislike me and want to attack me. I get it. I don't like it.

Relationships are tough. The liberal thing, the gay thing, the vegan thing, the animal rights activist thing, the gay and married thing; there are so many parts of me that can lead to differences.

My friend is a beautiful human being, loving husband, incredible father.

Perhaps differences of opinion are stronger than what I once thought. And perhaps one day he'll call and simply say that he was tired of reading my crap and blog posts on FB!

Thanks for reading! Please email me with your thoughts if you don't feel comfortable posting them as a comment! vegandude@msn.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vitamin D at 46

This blog isn’t just about Vitamin D or about me being 46.

The main theme is drinking the kool-aide.

As in don’t drink the kool-aide. This is an old reference and it basically means not to blindly follow or believe what someone is saying.

Whether you are at a church or synagogue, a doctor’s office, a vegan conference. Whether you are reading the benefits of eating meat, of not eating meat, the benefits of exercise or which candidate will make YOUR life better.

Don’t do it. Don’t drink the kool-aide. Listen, read, think about it, pray or meditate, talk with your closest friends, and make a decision that is best for YOU.

After 16 years of being vegan and right in the middle of the time in my life when I am consciously trying to be healthier, thanks to a dear friend I learned that there is Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. And I learned that when my soy milk states that it provides 30% of my daily need for Vitamin D, it means D2 not D3.

D3 is tough to get for vegans. Really tough. To be clear, I am still totally learning about this, so please don't take what I am saying as gospel.

I have spent hours researching this. I added Jack Norris' website as a link as he has great info on D3.

The point here is that I had no clue about Vitamin D.

And this of course leads to what other things I may not have a clue about!

Thanks for reading! And please keep me posted on things you are learning about in regards to a vegan diet. You can email me at vegandude@msn.com if you don't want to leave a public comment.