My Name Is JP–I Am Gay. I Am Proud. I Am Love.

Well, folks. We are halfway through the month of June which means that Summer is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but it certainly doesn’t feel like the season of outdoor grilling, pool swimming, and flip flops.

Well…at least it doesn’t feel like it quite yet. And I’m sure this quarantine has something to do with those thoughts.

Anyhoo, we are going to get right into this week’s post, so I hope your coffee has been brewed!

Here we go!

My name is JP Welliver.

I am gay.

I am proud.

I am love.

As many of you probably already know, June is National Gay Pride Month, and as an openly gay man living in this world, nothing saddens me more than knowing that we are still struggling for rights and continue to be viewed as “different” or “unfit” by a society that feeds upon hate and judgment.

It is 2020.

We are living in the 21st century. What gives? How can it be that we are still living in a world where we would rather hate with our words than love with our hearts? It is the million dollar question that I continue to try and answer each and every day as I live out life.

In Spring of 2005, my junior year of high school, I made the decision to come out to a few of my friends. And while it was a decision that weighed heavily on me day in and day out, it is one that I look back on with no regrets. And 14 year later, after being bullied, called inappropriate names including the term ‘faggot’, and struggling with thoughts of hurting myself and trying to figure out what I’m on this Earth for, I stand even stronger and prouder of who I am.

Today, I want to share a few reflections that I hope you will all take to heart and ponder as you go about your daily lives today, tomorrow, and each day after.

I want to thank my parents. While I know it was a struggle in the beginning to accept and we fought with differences, I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the unwavering support and true love you have continuously showed me throughout my life. You have raised me to fight for what I believe in, to never give up, and to show love and kindness to all. For that, I can’t repay you and having you by my side is the greatest gift I could ask for.

I want to thank my incredible and amazing friends who have been there through thick and thin since day one. I can’t even begin to imagine life without you all. You make the smiles, laughs, tears, hugs, and memories of each passing day extraordinary and worth living. Having a supportive team of individuals around me does wonders for the soul and it is something that I try to never take for granted. Each and every one of you is appreciated and loved so much. Each and every one of you has had some kind of impact in the evolution of Mr. Sunshine up to this point in my life. And for those who will continue to evolve with me in the future, I look forward to the days ahead with an unwavering optimistic energy.

I want to take a moment to share reflections with those out there struggling with their identity and sexuality. Always be true to yourself and never sacrifice anything for what you feel in your heart. Know that you are not alone and that there will always be people around to wrap you in love and warmth when the world seems cold and closes in with darkness.

I want to take a moment to share some reflections to those who view me and my fellow gay community as different. I hope that you will one day be able to look past the walls of judgement that you have built up and realize that we are no different than you. And while we may identify with feelings for those of the same sex, we are still human beings full of love and pride.

I encourage all of you to celebrate the rainbow and the gay community and to extend a hand to all in this world by spreading love and kindness. Not just this month, but every month of the year. Do it today, tomorrow, and each day after.

There may be days in my life left on this Earth that I get bullied, called faggot, or struggle with the thoughts of hurting myself—I don’t know what the future holds in store.

But I do know this. I am a believer in sharing love and kindness to everyone regardless of social status, ethnicity, religion, skin color, or sexual orientation.

I look for the good in others and work hard in finding ways to make those around me happier. I believe in happily every after and will not sacrifice my morals or values to find whatever that might be for me in life.

I fight for what I believe in.

I am happy.

I am positive.

I am spiritual.

I am joyful.

I am silly.

I am reactive.

I am emotional.

I am proud.

I am colorful.

I am Mr. Sunshine.

I am JP.

I am gay.

I stand before you in this very moment with great pride in my true colors and can’t wait to continue sharing with the world who I am and what I’m about.

I just started the process of working on a super, special, secret project that will hopefully help me to empower others in this world while being my authentic self. I’m super excited to share it with you and while I’m not 100% sure when it will exactly happen, I can only hope it will be very soon, so stay tuned! I CAN’T WAIT to share it with you!

We need to stop the hating, the judgments, the bullying, and work together as one to break down the walls of hate that have paralyzed our society with the belief that the gay community is different. This world needs more love.

The events that have unfolded and continue to unfold in the world around us are clear examples that we are in need of so much more love and kindness.

Where are the opens arms of love that we should be extending to ALL humans regardless of the gender of the humans they love?

When will the hating stop?

When will the violence end?

When are we going to wake up as a human race and realize that people who love the same sex are no different than anyone else?

When is the world going to realize that love is love is love?

My name is JP Welliver.

I am gay.

I am proud.

I am love.

Sprinkle sunshine always,