Friday, October 13, 2006

LJ Bears *heart* Steven Mackin

The current issue of The Advocate (October 24, 2006 cover date) has an article ("Bears on Live Journal") as part of their "Best of the Web 2006" coverage.

The article takes a look at the popular blog / diary site LiveJournal and the surprising way in which it has become a networking site for gay and bisexual bears (the article, confusingly, is not available online).

I recently posted on the travails of my friend Steven Mackin (a/k/a coolukman on LiveJournal) and the recent news that a cancer he thought he had beaten three years ago seemed to be back with a vengeance.

Last week and this week have proved tough ones for Steven beginning with a sudden change in hospitals a week ago Wednesday. This was followed by some disheartening news on which Steven ruminated earlier today followed by slightly more promising news this afternoon. We've kept in touch almost every day (the man can text message like no one else I know) and have spoken to him a few times this week being mindful of his hospital stay and of the time he's been spending with his family.

In a conversation we had a while back before the cancer resurfaced, Steven told me that one of the big reasons he came out to his family was watching the amazing Pedro Zamora on the 3rd season of MTV's The Real World (to many, Zamora was the person who brought home the impact of HIV/AIDS as well as the courage of being an out gay man on national television; personally, he certainly was a huge reason why I began to volunteer at HIV/AIDS service organizations). Steven also mentioned that Zamora was one of the reasons why he began to write about his experiences with cancer on his LiveJournal blog and continues to do so, unflinchingly, to this date.

As for The Advocate article on LiveJournal, Steven's posts show just how the site is much more than a networking site for bearish gay and bisexual men. It seems as if every single bear on LiveJournal has left a greeting or two below Steven's posts which goes to show how it can also be a tremendous source of support and love when difficult things like these happen to someone.

In any case, I tried to be on LiveJournal for a New York minute a few months back but it just wasn't for me. Maybe I wasn't bearish enough? In any case, I guess a Blogger can always join the LiveJournal choir:

You rule, Mackin! Lotsa love from New York.

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