Exclusive: America’s first trans candidate for governor talks about hope… & death threats

Christine HallquistChristine Hallquist is a former energy executive who has stepped out from behind the CEO desk to step into the Vermont governor’s race. She’s married, and a parent.

She’s a long-time Democrat running to unseat a Republican governor in a state where that party has held the seat since 1963.

She’s also a transgender woman who, if successful, will be the first trans person to serve as a governor of an American state.

We had a chance to sit down with Ms. Hallquist and while she recognizes the historical importance of her run — and the challenges she faces — she remains focused on issues dear to her and others in her state.

Read moreExclusive: America’s first trans candidate for governor talks about hope… & death threats

I Am A Child of God

God knows all about me.

Before you were formed in the body of your mother I had knowledge of you, and before your birth I made you holy.  ~ Jeremiah 1:5a

God has a plan for my life.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Read moreI Am A Child of God

Ten Types of Twisted Thinking

1. All-or-nothing thinking - You see things in black-or-white categories. If a situation falls short of perfect, you see it as a total failure. When a young woman on a diet ate a spoonful of ice cream, she told herself, "I've blown my diet completely." This thought upset her so much that she gobbled down an entire quart of ice cream.

2. Overgeneralization - You see a single negative event, such as a romantic rejection or a career reversal, as a never-ending pattern of defeat by using words such as "always" or "never" when you think about it. A depressed salesman became terribly upset when he noticed bird dung on the window of his car. He told himself, "Just my luck! Birds are always crapping on my car!"

Read moreTen Types of Twisted Thinking

Ten Positive "Don't's" To Remember

1. Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

2. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

3. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

4. Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

5. Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over... until the moment you stop trying.

6. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is the fragile thread that binds us to each other.

7. Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

8. Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is to hold on too tightly, and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

9. Don't dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope. To be without hope is to be without purpose.

10. Don't run through life so fast that you forget where you've been, but also know where you're going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored every step of the way.

This Gay Teacher Had The Best Response To A Christian Mom Who Pulled Her Kids From His Class

Michael NeriMichael Neri is a drama teacher in England, and he’s pretty popular.

His Talking Props Theatre School that he set up in 2014 had a good enough reputation for a Christian woman to sign her kids up. But when she learned that Neri is gay, she texted him to pull the kids out.

Her reason? She’s worried that theater lessons with a gay man will “influence” her children with “unconventional ideas.”

That is, she thought he’d turn her kids gay.

Read moreThis Gay Teacher Had The Best Response To A Christian Mom Who Pulled Her Kids From His Class

Listen To LGBTQ Christian Music by Marsha Stevens

Marsha StevensShortly after becoming a Christian in 1969 at sixteen years of age, Stevens-Pino wrote "For Those Tears I Died (Come to the Water)", a song that was translated into 11 languages and became widely known and sung in charismatic Christian churches.

After seven years of marriage Marsha came out as lesbian. She was ostracized and condemned by the contemporary Christian music subculture.  Christian Century magazine wrote in 1999 that Stevens became "conservative Christianity's worst nightmare - a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, God-fearing lesbian Christian."

Marsha is a prolific singer/songwriter for the LGBT community under BALM Ministries (Born Again Lesbian Music) and has recorded numerous albums.

Note from Mary:  It was Marsha who helped me reconcile my faith with my Christianity and I will forever be in her debt.  I love this woman dearly!

All music can be purchased through the Christian Gays Store or downloaded directly from Marsha's website

In Retrospect (Double CD - 33 Songs on two discs)

  1. Celebrate Marsha Stevens 3:18
  2. Hymn Medley Marsha Stevens 3:55
  3. No Matter What Way Marsha Stevens 3:50
  4. For Those Tears I Died Marsha Stevens 6:18
  5. Eastern Gate Marsha Stevens 3:45
  6. Jesus Wept Marsha Stevens 4:50
  7. Wash Over Me Marsha Stevens 4:10
  8. I Am Whole Marsha Stevens 3:35
  9. Cup Of Joy Marsha Stevens 3:30
  10. Is It I? Marsha Stevens 3:29
  11. A Pastor's Heart Marsha Stevens 4:12
  12. I'm Blessed Marsha Stevens 3:17
  13. Falling Star Marsha Stevens 2:44
  14. I Found You Marsha Stevens 4:37
  15. Free To Be Marsha Stevens 3:30
  16. In Retrospect: Savior, Lord & Friend Marsha Stevens 3:55
  17. All Things Are Possible Marsha Stevens 3:57
  18. Mommy's Song Marsha Stevens 2:53
  19. I Will Not Behave Like Prey Marsha Stevens 4:48
  20. Can You Reach Me? Marsha Stevens 5:16
  21. Healing Still Marsha Stevens 4:14
  22. The Gift Marsha Stevens 3:25
  23. Communion Song Marsha Stevens 3:46
  24. Don't Change Me 4:20
  25. Can't We Find a Way Marsha Stevens 4:41
  26. Light of the World Marsha Stevens 3:33
  27. Do You Promise Marsha Stevens 4:44
  28. Revive Us Again Marsha Stevens 4:14
  29. Prelude: the Realization Marsha Stevens 1:18
  30. The Body of Christ Has AIDS Marsha Stevens 3:57
  31. I'll Still Have Jesus Marsha Stevens 4:44
  32. I Still Have a Dream Marsha Stevens 5:11
  33. The Waiting's Over Marsha Stevens 3:05


Free To Be

  1. Free To Be Marsha Stevens 3:31
  2. Falling Star Marsha Stevens 2:44
  3. Perfect Love Marsha Stevens 1:57
  4. Romans 8 Marsha Stevens 2:48
  5. For Those Tears I Died Marsha Stevens 3:53
  6. I Am Whole Marsha Stevens 3:35
  7. Bridgebuilder Marsha Stevens 2:53
  8. That Power Marsha Stevens 3:39
  9. Mommy's Song Marsha Stevens 2:54
  10. Wake Up Marsha Stevens 2:33


I Am Home

  1. 1 Imagine Marsha Stevens 3:34
  2. 2 A Servant's Heart Marsha Stevens 3:33
  3. 3 I Am Home Marsha Stevens 4:02
  4. 4 The Wailing Wall Marsha Stevens 2:15
  5. 5 Prints Of Peace Marsha Stevens 4:17
  6. 6 Built On Hope Marsha Stevens 3:35
  7. 7 Jesus To Me Marsha Stevens 2:58
  8. 8 The Real You Marsha Stevens 5:11
  9. 9 For Those Tears I Died Marsha Stevens 5:10
  10. 10 What If They Knew You Marsha Stevens 4:43


You Called Us Good

  1. 01. The Miracle Tha's Needed Marsha Stevens 3:39
  2. 02. (stories of outcasts) Marsha Stevens 3:27
  3. 03. A Future And A Hope Marsha Stevens 3:21
  4. 04. (a Catholic childhood) Marsha Stevens 3:35
  5. 05. When I Cannot Speak Your Name Marsha Stevens 4:46
  6. 06. (finding a way back to the church) Marsha Stevens 3:47
  7. 07. I've Been There Marsha Stevens 4:20
  8. 08. (the meaning of forgiveness) Marsha Stevens 3:30
  9. 09. Jesus Wept Marsha Stevens 4:50
  10. 10. (forgiving them, forgiving me) Marsha Stevens 2:44
  11. 11. Love's Place Marsha Stevens 4:12
  12. 12. Give up the Ghost Marsha Stevens 3:03
  13. 13. Wherever You Go Marsha Stevens 3:35
  14. 14. (starting over) Marsha Stevens 0:49
  15. 15. Restore the Years Marsha Stevens 4:17
  16. 16. (false Gods) Marsha Stevens 3:35
  17. 17. You Called Us Good Marsha Stevens 3:42


Songs of Praise From a Strange Land (2003)

  1. 1 Songs Of Praise From A Strange Land Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 2:40
  2. 2 I Long To Worship Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 4:06
  3. 3 We Have Come To Praise Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 3:27
  4. 4 Release The Harvest Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 4:50
  5. 5 Forgive Them Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 3:26
  6. 6 Wash Over Me Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 4:12
  7. 7 In The Hollow Of Your Hand Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 2:42
  8. 8 We Won't Let Go Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 2:30
  9. 9 Into Your Hands Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 3:09
  10. 10 Dare To Dream Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 3:41
  11. 11 All Creation Testifies Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 2:36
  12. 12 One IN Christ Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 3:50
  13. 13 This Is Your Time Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 4:51
  14. 14 Let Your Light Shine Marsha Stevens & Various Artists 1:55


Is This The Real You?

  1. Safe Within Your Arms Marsha Stevens 4:17
  2. Dig Your Own Well Marsha Stevens 3:02
  3. In The Reef Marsha Stevens 5:09
  4. Adelante En Fe Marsha Stevens 3:13
  5. So Many Ways Marsha Stevens 4:10
  6. Where Else Would I Go Marsha Stevens 5:45
  7. Manifest Yourself In Me Marsha Stevens 3:21
  8. Mercy Seat Marsha Stevens 4:42
  9. Sing To Me Marsha Stevens 3:31
  10. If You Take Up Your Cross Marsha Stevens 4:25
  11. The Blood of the Martyrs Marsha Stevens 4:22
  12. Is This the Real You Marsha Stevens 5:06


The Waiting's Over

  1. Revive Us Again Marsha Stevens 4:15
  2. The Waitings Over Marsha Stevens 3:08
  3. Don'T Change Me Marsha Stevens 4:21
  4. Wash Over Me Marsha Stevens 4:11
  5. Mary And Peter Marsha Stevens 4:24
  6. We Have Joy Marsha Stevens 3:43
  7. Lead This Pioneer Marsha Stevens 3:53
  8. The Solid Rock Marsha Stevens 3:02
  9. Easter Subrise Marsha Stevens 3:52
  10. Jesus Wept Marsha Stevens 4:52
  11. I Found You Marsha Stevens 1:34


The Gift Is On The Inside

  1. Hallelujah, He is Born Various Artists 2:01
  2. The Star Various Artists 3:53
  3. Medley #1 - Joy To The World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Angels We Have Heard on High Various Artists 4:28
  4. The Gift Is On The Inside Various Artists 3:26
  5. Gesu Bambino Various Artists 4:33
  6. Song of Joseph Various Artists 4:09
  7. For the Love of it All Various Artists 4:28
  8. Medley #2 - The First Noel, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Oh Come All You Faithful Various Artists 5:16
  9. Mary, Did You Know? Various Artists 3:03
  10. The Magnificat (My Soul Gives Glory) Various Artists 3:04
  11. What If Jesus Comes Back Like That? Various Artists 3:42
  12. Medley #3 - O Come Emmanuel, What Child is This? Various Artists 4:43
  13. O Holy Night Various Artists 4:49
  14. Go Tell It on the Mountain Various Artists 2:31


No Matter What Way

  1. No Matter What Way Marsha Stevens 3:48
  2. I'm In Love Marsha Stevens 4:39
  3. Is It I? Marsha Stevens 3:31
  4. Needing You, Needing Me Marsha Stevens 4:06
  5. Faithful Friend Marsha Stevens 4:57
  6. Will We Ever Know Marsha Stevens 4:30
  7. Healing Still Marsha Stevens 4:17
  8. Hearts Aflame Marsha Stevens 4:26
  9. Lights Of The World Marsha Stevens 3:35
  10. You're Here Marsha Stevens 5:04


I Will Not Behave Like Prey

  1. Sing A New Song Marsha Stevens 3:41
  2. Love Is The Only Law Marsha Stevens 3:32
  3. A Pastor'S Heart Marsha Stevens 4:18
  4. Diversity Marsha Stevens 2:55
  5. Stranger In A Strange Land Marsha Stevens 4:18
  6. All Things Are Possible Marsha Stevens 3:59
  7. I Will Not Behave Like Prey Marsha Stevens 4:51
  8. Prelude (The Realization) Marsha Stevens 1:18
  9. The Body Of Christ Has Aids Marsha Stevens 3:57
  10. I'll Still Have Jesus Marsha Stevens 4:46


For Those Who Know It Best

  1. In The Garden Marsha Stevens 4:03
  2. It Is Well Marsha Stevens 4:13
  3. Medley: (Your)Eye is On the Sparrow, Lead Me to Calvary, (You're Leadi Marsha Stevens 3:59
  4. Jesus, I Come Marsha Stevens 2:43
  5. There is a Balm in Gilead Marsha Stevens 2:43
  6. I Love to Tell the Story Marsha Stevens 3:25
  7. Sweet Hour of Prayer Marsha Stevens 3:48
  8. Great is Thy Faithfulness Marsha Stevens 4:31
  9. What a Friend We Have in Jesus Marsha Stevens 3:55
  10. Amazing Grace Marsha Stevens 3:11
  11. Day is Dying in the West Marsha Stevens 4:15
  12. God Be With You Marsha Stevens 1:21


I Still Have A Dream

  1. Come Out and Go Forth Marsha Stevens 3:23
  2. Eastern Gate Marsha Stevens 4:07
  3. Cup of Joy Marsha Stevens 3:33
  4. Blessing You Marsha Stevens 3:09
  5. Building Up One Another Marsha Stevens 3:57
  6. I'm Blessed Marsha Stevens 3:20
  7. River of Life Marsha Stevens 3:36
  8. For Those Tears I Died Marsha Stevens 6:23
  9. I Still Have a Dream Marsha Stevens 5:09


The Best Is Yet To Come

  1. Celebrate Marsha Stevens 3:19
  2. All Your Names Are Love Marsha Stevens 3:11
  3. We Believe In You Marsha Stevens 3:37
  4. Can't We Find A Way Marsha Stevens 4:43
  5. Communion Song (Twas n That Night) Marsha Stevens 4:09
  6. Good News Marsha Stevens 3:10
  7. You Will Find Me Marsha Stevens 3:58
  8. The Open Door Marsha Stevens 3:15
  9. It's Only Been One Love Marsha Stevens 3:28
  10. The Best I Yet To Come Marsha Stevens 4:46

God Hates Shrimp

Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination.  Why stop at protesting gay marriage?  Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites.

We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster.  Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed.  The name of Bubba shall be anathema.

We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says:
9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

Four Novice Nuns Were About To Take Their Vows

Four novice nuns were about to take their vows.

Dressed in their white gowns, they came into the chapel with the Mother Superior, and were about to undergo the ceremony to marry them to Jesus, making them "Brides of Christ."

Just as the ceremony was about to begin, four Hasidic Jews with yarmulkes, long sideburns, and long beards came in and sat in the front row.

The Mother Superior said to them, "I am honoured that you would want to share this experience with us, but do you mind if I ask you why you came?"

One of the Jews replied, "We're from the groom's family."

Skipping Church

Father Norton woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf.

So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and persuaded him to say Mass for him that day. As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away.

Read moreSkipping Church

Two Fathers, With One Happy to Stay at Home

MINNEAPOLIS - Right before Christmas, Jamie McConnell arrived at the Lake Country School here, as he does most days of the week, to pick up his son, Ben, 3. Hardly short on spunk, Ben made his way out to the snowy playground, and Mr. McConnell, as parents have done since the dawn of swings and monkey bars, trailed behind.

Mr. McConnell had plenty of time to watch Ben romp and to invite one of his classmates and his mother home for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

For years, Mr. McConnell ate very different lunches. He was a corporate litigator at Dorsey & Whitney, among the country's most prestigious law firms. But since he and Dr. Bill Atmore, an anesthesiologist, adopted Ben as an infant, taking care of the child has been his full-time job. Dr. Atmore, his partner of eight years, works full time.

Read moreTwo Fathers, With One Happy to Stay at Home

Mx - A Gender-Neutral Honorific Added To Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Mx gender neutral titleThe gender-neutral Mx. is used as a title for those who do not identify as being of a particular gender, or for people who simply don't want to be identified by gender.

Though the earliest print evidence dates to 1977, the word has only recently become popular.

Pronounced to sound like mix or mux, the title Mx. (which, like other honorifics, is styled without the period in British English) is used increasingly on various official forms in the UK, including driver's licenses and banking documents.

Read moreMx - A Gender-Neutral Honorific Added To Merriam-Webster Dictionary

University Offers a Free Ride to Gay Teen Abandoned by Parents

Seth OwenJacksonville, Fla. student Seth Owen, 18, had a 4.16 GPA and all the promise of the future. He just had no money to make it a reality. After his parents kicked him out of the house for being gay, he was on his own.

That’s when the town chipped in to help fund his college education and raised over $120,000 (the original crowdfunding goal was set at $100,000) so that he could attend Georgetown University.

However, an incredible thing happened after all the money was raised: Georgetown decided to waive his tuition. Completely.

Read moreUniversity Offers a Free Ride to Gay Teen Abandoned by Parents

Transgender student in Florida can now use men’s restroom

The LGBT Community and Depression: What Can Parents Do?

Depression remains one of the most pressing issues in the country, and one of the most overlooked. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 16.2 million people in the US suffered at least one episode of depression. Women are more prone to be depressed than males, or at least double the rate (8.5% against the 4.8%, respectively). Adults between ages 18 and 25 have the highest rate of depression.

While society’s treatment of the LGBT community has improved over the years, there’s no denying that the stigma, bullying and the harassment are still there. For instance, more and more people now support same-sex marriage. In 1977, only 43% believed that gay and lesbians should be in a legal relationship. That number rose to 66% in 2015.

Of course, back then society had a backward view of what homosexuality is. In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association defined homosexuality as a perversion or abnormality. The exact term was “sociopathic personality disturbance.” The implication was that it’s a disorder that can be cured.

LGBT and Suicide Rates

Given how society has not really fully accepted them, the LGBT youth has a higher rate of depression and even suicide rates across all demographics.

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and in that study, the federal agency found that:

  1. 1 in 10 of LGBT youth is threatened or injured by assault right on school property
  2. More than 3 in 10 experienced bullying in school
  3. Nearly 3 in 10 received cyber-threats and cyber-bullying
  4. 18% experienced dating violence
  5. 18% were raped

Meanwhile, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a non-profit organization, also released its own report which painted an even grimmer picture of what the LGBT youth had to go through when they go out of their homes.

  1. More than 5 in 10 do not feel safe at school
  2. Almost 4 in 10 do not feel safe due to their gender expression
  3. More than 7 in 10 were harassed verbally
  4. More than 5 in 10 were harassed verbally due to their gender expression
  5. 16% experienced physical violence due to their sexual expression

Given all the problems they have to surmount, it’s understandable that the LGBT youth are four times as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexuals, reported the CDC.

What Can Parents Do?

It should be noted, however, that some LGBT youth do not feel safe at home. A survey by the Human Rights Campaign revealed that 26% of LGBT members are not being accepted by their family. Instead, they keep their secret in. In fact, more than 7 in 10 of them find solace in the anonymity that online forums provide so they become more open to their sexual orientation and expression when they are on the Internet.

On the flip side, a good number of them (75%) are being accepted by their peers while an even bigger number (90%) said that their close friends accepted them for who they are.

Nevertheless, parents play an important role in instilling confidence in their children to accept their sexual orientation as something normal despite what society thinks. This will result in two things:

  1. They tend to be more open about their feelings and experiences to the parents
  2. The love that they feel at home will provide them a safe haven from all the ugliness outside

Of course, this presumes that the parents already accept their children’s sexual orientation. In which case, they need to attend family therapy with their kids to thresh out all their individual issues.

  1. Have an honest conversation with your kids. You need to help them understand about risky behaviors, especially when it comes to unprotected sex.
  2. Make sure they know that you love them and accept them for who they are.
  3. You have to make an extra effort to learn more about the sexual orientation of your child. With knowledge comes understanding of what they are going through on a daily basis.
  4. Steer clear of stereotypes. Homosexuals are not necessarily as promiscuous as straight ones.
  5. Respect your children’s privacy. They might not be ready to come out to your friends or relatives just yet.
  6. Become an advocate. Make sure to correct all the misconceptions about homosexuality when you have the chance.
  7. Talk to your kid and have them explain to you what their sexual orientation means to them and how they understand it. In this way, you level off with your child and go from there.
  8. Don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault and neither is it the fault of your kid.

Parents need to understand that it’s not about them. It’s about their kids who are coming to terms with their sexuality. It takes extraordinary courage for a LGBT youth to come out to their parents. Reward their gesture with calmness and serenity. If you are still in shock, apologize and promise your kid that you will talk to them later when you have composed yourself.

Parents should also talk between themselves on the next step. It’s important that they don’t get their signals crossed to avoid confusing their child.

Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse

The problem with children keeping secrets is that they tend to self-medicate. And this is when substance abuse occurs.

Symptoms of Depression:

  1. Hopelessness
  2. Helplessness
  3. Feeling of worthlessness
  4. Anxiety
  5. Sleep disturbance
  6. Weight loss or weight gain
  7. Lethargy
  8. Guilty feelings
  9. Lack of concentration
  10. Loss of interest in school, friends, hobbies
  11. Suicidal thoughts

Depressed people often turn to alcohol or drugs in order to soothe the hollow feeling or the pain they are experiencing. They need an escape to the current predicament they are in. The National Alliance of Mental Illness said that 3 in 10 of the LGBT youth have problems with addiction compared to just nine percent among the heterosexuals. A quarter of the LGBT youth abuse alcohol more than any other substance.

This further complicates their situation because not only are they dealing with a mental disorder, they are also struggling with addiction, as well.

Luxury drug rehab centers have a term for this: dual diagnosis. It’s a co-occurring condition where the mental illness is feeding off the addiction and vice versa. The treatment process also becomes more complicated with all the underlying issues. Rehab may take longer, depending on the patient response. The relapse rate is also higher, especially since they will still face the same challenges when they go out of the safe confines of the treatment facility.

About The Author

Charles L. Watson is a lifelong health and addiction freelance writer. Hoping to express his ideas and thoughts after surviving his own personal issues, he currently writes for A lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, he can be reached on Twitter at the handle @charleswatson00. Full disclosure for the readers of this article, Mr. Watson holds no medical degree or psychological degree.