Even When Life Isn’t A Rainbow, I’m A Proud One.

Hello, readers! Today, I officially welcome you to my 142nd post that I’ve written since starting this endeavor back in 2018! Can you believe that we are in the third year of sunshine and smiles with this site? I guess they aren’t wrong when they say that time flies when you are having fun!

On a side note, time also flies if the year is 2021 because how in the heck is it already the second week of October?! Official countdown tells me that it is 45 days until Thanksgiving and 75 days until Christmas.

Say it isn’t so! That is just INSANE.

Once again, I thank you for both following on this journey and supporting me with your reading eyes, immense love, and undying support. It truly does mean the world to me and words in weekly posts can’t express the true amount of gratitude that I have in my heart, especially since I’ve been doing this now for three years!

Anyhoo, let’s get on to this week’s post.

In case you didn’t know, today is National Coming Out Day. It is a day that is extremely important to me in many respects and one that I hope that others in this world will start to educate themselves about and appreciate as we move forward in the 21st century.

My name is JP Welliver.

I am gay.

I am proud.

I am love.

And even when life isn’t a rainbow, I’m a proud one.

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 2021.

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.

I’m 34 years old. I’m a openly gay single man living in the town of Lancaster where I work full time as an Account Manager at The Webstaurantstore, part time as a Customer Service Auditor for The Loomis Company, and music director of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Penryn, PA. And while I keep myself busy with these careers, I also find time to participate in theater productions at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, personal train twice a week, run about 3-4 miles a day in my Miles 4 Smiles fundraising campaign, and also watch The Golden Girls. However, amongst the crazy schedule, the miles run, the weights lifted, and the large amounts of caffeine consumed, there is one thing that is always in the back of my mind constantly even with being in the 21st century.

And that is my sexuality. Even in 2021, there are still moments where I feel judged and stared at.

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. Find your support system. They are out there and are ready to love and support you in life’s toughest moment of weakness.

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. In fact, some of you might remember earlier this year that I wrote a post about the April Sunday afternoon where I was called by a faggot while running on the back country roads of Lititz. It was a moment that made me shed tears and brought to the forefront that hate, prejudice, and bigotry are still very much alive.

If, as you are reading this, think that hate, prejudice, and bigotry do not exist in our world, I ask you to look out your window.


Take a moment right now as you read this to pause and look out the window…wherever that might be in your current habitat.

Or at least take a moment later in your day to look out the window, but please make sure to take a moment to do so.

And as you gaze out that window, I ask you to look at the world around and realize that it is not perfect and far from it.

And after looking out the window and at the world, go look at yourself in the mirror.

And as you look at yourself in the mirror, take a moment to ask yourself this question:

“Am I enabling the problem or helping to end it.”

While I realize that some of you have never experienced a moment of bigotry, prejudice, or hate (and might never experience one), I need you to understand that it still exists.

Very much so.

For so many people from all different walks of life…not just gay men.

And it is a reality that I have lived in these 34 years of life more than once. More times that can be count on your fingers and toes combined.

Do you ever walk out of your house in fear that you might get hurt because of the person you are and people you love?

Do you ever think that you will be discriminated against because of the people you love?

Do you ever think that you will be made fun or bullied because of who you are?

These are all questions that I have (and continue to) answer ‘yes’ to on the daily.

And while I hope and pray that we will eventually live in a world where these entities do not exist, I sincerely hope and pray that you will do your best to show love and kindness to everyone you meet and to help bring an end to discrimination and all the elements of hatred that come along with it.

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.

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.

And even when life isn’t a rainbow, I’m a proud one.

Sprinkle sunshine always,