A Brief Introduction

Endeavoring to define myself outside of a "job title." I'm a nomad of sorts who fell in love with technology, activism, and helping others. I run a web & media consulting firm, have a blog specifically for activists & non-profits, and travel often. I love talking about theology, politics, and social change. I love doing something about it even more. I also like to be a well-rounded and fully present person. That's why I write here. Connect with me on twitter

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A New Project: Work In Progress

Hello All Points In Between Readers,

It has been quite a long time since I posted here. Since then, I read a lot (and talked a lot) about gender, race, sexuality and privilege. I scaled back my ambitions in an effort to not take up less space. But I forgot what was right under my nose, a motto I recite often: “We live in a land of abundance.”

So why am I starting to write again? For one, I love my life and I want to have a record of it. If nothing else, this new project is an endeavor to keep track of the bliss that is living my dream.

Why else? Folks–friends and strangers alike–say, “Wow, that’s really awesome!” And yup, it is. I want to share that.

Some basics

  • I work from home and set my own hours
  • I took a 50% paycut and nine months later, have more in my savings account then when I left my job (and I bought an HD video camera).
  • I give away more money (and stuff) than ever before
  • I am not part of a multi-level marketing scheme

Today I am officially launching my website, Work In Progress. I'd love for you to check it out, leave a comment, subscribe via RSS or email, and/or otherwise let me know what you think.

Work In Progress is the on-going story of ditching my 9-to-t, embracing radical love, practicing thoughtful resistance to the status quo, and realizing that it's not difficult as it looks. It's also an invitation to join me on this journey, to share with me of yourself and your life, and to grow together.


I'm looking forward to the adventure!


Monday, February 09, 2009

Micah's Three Dollar Fund

Micah would probably protest if he knew about this (hope you're not reading it right now!), but he is my best friend and could really use some help.

Micah is saving for surgery but since he works for a non-profit the savings are slow-going. His job is to support and encourage college fellows working around progressive issues on their campuses and to provide them with the skills and resources they need to succeed. He is passionate, caring, and has a giant vision for what justice looks like.

He inspires me, challenges me, and perhaps most importantly, makes me laugh.

I hope you'll join me in contributing towards Micah's surgery fund so that he can put it behind him and devote 100% of his time and energy to making the world a better place.

In this time of economic uncertainty, I'm not asking that you donate anything astronomical. Three dollars. That's less than a cup of coffee or about the cost of one ride on the DC subway. It's two sodas at a restaurant. Can you put down $3 today? Of course, you can give more as you're led.

Because this is a personal PayPal account (so I'm not paying a fee for it), you need to use a PayPal account to donate (I can accept 5 credit card transactions, so if you're going to use a card, do it quickly!). Apologies for the inconvenience.

From the bottom of my heart (and I'm sure his when he finds out), thank you.


Go here to contribute

Micah made this comic but doesn't know I have it. Sshh...

Comic Page 1 Comic Page 2

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Playlist for 2009

What songs are bringing me into the new year? I've compiled 15 songs; some new, most old, that are jamming in my music player as I wrap-up 2008 and get energized for 2009. You can get a partial playlist on iTunes here.

"Power to to the People" by Black Eyed Peas
From the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur album, this new take on a John Lennon classic is perfect as I continue to understand the interconnection of justice struggles. "Power to the People" moves.

"Talkin' Bout A Revolution" by Tracy Chapman
As I read Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution, I remembered how groovy the sounds of Tracy Chapman are. In much the same way that "Turn Me Around" talks about building a brand new world, "Talkin' Bout A Revolution" imagines that world and reminds us that the first step might sound like a whisper, but it's the start of a revolution.

"Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath

"All those people going somehow, why have I never cared?

"Give me your eyes for just one second. Give your eyes so I can see, everything that I've been missing. Give me your love humanity. Give me your arms for the broken-hearted, the ones that have fallen beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten. Give me your eyes so I can see."
A prophetic reminder of the Good News and an equally necessary reminder that I can't do on my own.

"This Is Love" by Jason & deMarco
Sometimes, it's not all about work. "This Is Love" reminds me what it's already about. Sometimes, justice means being able to listen to sappy love songs.

"Kenji" by Fort Minor
My good friend Meilee first introduced me to this song about the internment camps during World War II. I can't, and frankly don't want to be, an advocate for a partial justice. While Japanese Americans were being interred in the States, homosexuals were being interred and executed in Nazi-controlled Europe. Interconnection--I'm feelin' it these days.

"I Have Forgiven Jesus" by Morissey
I first heard this song on the 2007 Equality Ride when a professor played it at George Fox University for his class before our presentation. It's raw and reminds me that not all wounds heal nicely.

"Awake O'Sleeper" by Nicholas Kirk
A blogsophere discovery, this song and music video came to me by way of Hacking Christianity. The video is so beautiful, you're getting an embed:

Awake O'Sleeper from Brandon McCormick on Vimeo.

"Meant to Live" by The String Quartet
Can I call the Switchfoot original a classic? If so, then this instrumental take on a classic is relaxing and energizing. I can play it while falling to sleep or while working on a campaign.

"Stand by Me" from the Playing for Change soundtrack
What happens when filmmakers capture street performers around the world singing one song? Something soul moving. Don't we all need someone to stand by us? As 2009 rolls into motion, I'm surrounded by a family, a community, and a world who could stand by me.

"Travelin' Through" by Dolly Parton
I never quite understood the "breakthrough" of having a female actor play a female character, but TransAmerica was the first look at trans folk that many Americans took, so that says something. Dolly Parton is classic Americana and her song, about love, loss, family, and finding our way, is equally American. As natural as, say, being trans. Upbeat and a little quirky, this song reminds me that life is a journey.

"I Celebrate the Day" by Relient K
My housemate Matt introduced this song to me a week before Christmas and though it is technically a holiday song, I'll be listening to it year round. I actually can't decide on my favorite line.
The first time that you opened your eyes, did you realize that you would be my savior?
And the first breath, that left your lips, did you know that it would change this world forever?
A refugee baby born in a dirty, stinky shed ushered in God incarnate and the world forever.

"The Long Way Around" by Dixie Chicks
I've been listening to this album since it hit the shelves. Sometimes I'll go months at a time without tuning into the Chicks, but this album, and this song, will always have a place in my music collection. Unlike other justice struggles, queer folks must often navigate hostility in places which should be safe--their homes, neighborhoods, friend circles, and faith communities. "The Long Way Around" feels real, yet hopeful, to me.

"Poverty" by Jason Upton
"There's a power in poverty that breaks principalities and brings the authorities down to their knees. [...] And who will praise when we've praised all our lives men who build kingdoms and men who build fame? [...]"
The instrumentation is simple, the lyrics are haunting. I appreciate that the songwriter doesn't offer us guidelines or suggestions to follow, but rather asks us questions, punctuating each line with a pause as the question hangs in the air. What will we do? What will we do?

"Climb On (A Back That's Strong)" by Reverse Osmosis
My good friend Katherine Good is a beautiful singer and her a capella group from USC, Reverse Osmosis, is a staple in my music collection. "Climb On" picks me up when I'm down and, to be honest, is fun to sing along with.

"Love Today" by Mika
I'll be honest, I avoided Mika for over a year. He gave a cocky-sounding interview in which he claimed he didn't understand why he wasn't more of a superstar in the "gay community" simply because his sexuality is ambiguous and his songs are peppy. Then I heard "Love Today" and I caved. I mean, the beat is REALLY FUN and so it's the bookend to this playlist.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Lines In The Sand

With the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Obama inauguration and the ensuing brouhaha stirring among some advocates of gay rights/equality, I've been stewing on my own position. Here's where I'm at:

Gay people, and gay relationships, are absolutely and unequivocally on equal footing as their straight counterparts. There are many issues that invite healthy and productive debate, this is not one of them. There are not multiple valid perspectives. To denigrate queer identities and relationships is to place oneself opposite of truth, justice, God, and ultimately history. We certainly don't say that there is room for healthy debate around interracial marriage, or the rights of Christians to exist without persecution. As Mel White once said, the *issue* is not up for debate.

But I want the *people* who find themselves on the other side of recognizing my complete humanity as close to me as possible. I want to eat with them, work with them, pray with them.

When the Equality Ride was at Wisconsin Lutheran University, the chaplain (or dean or someone) refused to pray with us. I don't remember his title, but I remember the hurt we all felt. We were ready and willing to pray with them, it wasn't a charade or a stunt. And so I'm ready to eat, to speak, to work, and to pray with Rick Warren. I'm equally ready to call upon Obama to live up to his campaign promises and lead us toward justice for gay and transgender people. I'm ready to show Rick Warren and others who believe similarly how wrong they are by my actions. I'm ready to create a new kind of Christianity--one that takes the words of Jesus seriously and offers real solutions, not mere platitudes about love and service. I'm committed to deep, transformative change; not superficial tokenism. This is a start, it is absolutely not enough.

I've got to believe that Rick Warren can become a fierce ally for LGBT people, his invocation can be the first step. That's change I can believe in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Support the Shiministim

Israeli teenagers are boldly standing up to their government and refusing required military service on the grounds of conscientious objection, mostly due to the occupation of Palestine. These young people, many seniors in high school, defy pressure of family, friends, and the state--many who would see them as traitors--to hold fast to their convictions.

You can support these courageous young people--the Shministim--by signing a letter to the Israeli Minister of Defense at December18th.org. Jewish-Israeli peace activists will be hand-delivering these letters so add your voice today!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reflections by Matt

My friend and housemate Matt Beams wrote a touching reflection on the brand new SFNYC blog, blog:justice.

Check it out.

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