#PRAYFORORLANDO. WE STAND WITH YOU!
Hello Everyone –
For those of you who follow our newsletters, you know my openings are usually very humorous, self-reflective and fun. I had a great PRIDE story planned but when the horrific events in Orlando occurred this past weekend – everything changed.
For five days, I have walked around in a daze, heartbroken for the victims and their families. As the news coverage unfolded, I know we all wondered how each of us could help and make a difference. Here’s what I know, all we can do is to continue to fight against hatred. These hideous acts of violence will continue to keep young LGBTQ people in the closet. They will fear coming out and living their own personal truths.
I am a lucky person – though it took me some time to come to terms with who I am (I was 30 years old when I finally had the courage), when I did come out I was embraced by the people who love me. Now I have the freedom to be who I am – a proud gay man with wonderful friends and a family that loves me unconditionally, and a successful businessman. Everyone must have this freedom – and when a horrible incident like Orlando happens this should only make us all work harder to support and celebrate the differences that make up our world.
I shudder to think about what happened in that club on Saturday night. It was Latin Night – friends had come together to have a few drinks, dance, and celebrate life. Then, in a flash, lives ended and people were injured – everything changed forever. We must now mourn these losses and support the families that were impacted by this tragedy. Please, please click here to contribute to the fund that has been set up.
What was magnified for me on Sunday is that life is so short – and you truly never know when it will end. While these events have now changed our lives forever, we must go on in honor of the victims and remain proud.
June is PRIDE Month around the world — and our newsletter covers all the wonderful happenings that our clients are doing to celebrate. We also have news about exciting summer events, openings, and ways to honor thy father (it’s Father’s Day this Sunday). We also are putting together a fun night at Wente Vineyards to see Diana Ross on July 7. AF&Co. has a special code for our fans (40% off just for us – see below under the Concerts at Wente Vineyards). I hope you can join us. Read on and enjoy every minute of life that you can!
In closing, they say hate and fear are contagious – but here’s what I know – love is contagious too. I encourage you to love harder than ever and spread this love. With love, I do believe we can conquer this ugliness and truly create environments of safety and encouragement for the younger generations that are coming up to lead our world.
Sing out loud and proud!
PS – I am also very lucky to be a proud Dad. Many of you know that my brother Ricky sadly passed away six years ago – and with his blessing I was honored to step in to become a father figure to my two amazing nephews Jason and Zachary. Along with their wonderful Mom, I couldn’t be more proud of the two successful men they have become. I’m inspired every day to see the great things they are accomplishing. I am thrilled that I will witness the life journeys that lie ahead. I am also a proud Daddy to my two sweet furry girls – Daisy and Tulip. It sounds corny, but when I look at them, they remind me what love is. I can’t get enough of those girls.