Tag Archives: James Michael McCracken



We can be part of society without blending in. To me it means living with 100% authenticty (as Dr Phil might say!). We shouldn’t compromise our identity to be accepted but everyone regardless of sexuality or gender identity has a right to fully live.
The community if such a thing exists is diverse but too many live in the shadows. My point is that self worth determines our potential and that blending in is a direct result of feeling “less than”, feeling ashamed of how God (whatever that means to you) made you.

Our BELIEFS inform our THOUGHTS, which in turn inform our CHOICES 

Life need not be a self-fulfilling prophecy and by recognising that our “truth” has been shaped through our relationships, our environment and our experiences, we can begin to change our perceptions, heighten our self-esteem and move toward our personal and professional goals with clear vision and purpose…. 

 As a parent bringing up a straight and a gay child, I think one of our messages to our children was ‘be yourself’ in all things – think for yourself, dress for yourself, and don’t be afraid to stand up and be recognized for who you are or what you believe in. Never Blend In is all of these positive messages.   



  …we are in the fight for our very lives. NEVER BLEND IN says that we are committed to living out in the open, as we have a right to do. NEVER BLEND IN, means never settle for second best or the notion that we are “second class citizens” I will NEVER blend in.



 We all have to carve out our own paths in the world. We can’t follow another person’s path, and contrary to opinion, we can’t wear someone else’s shoes. We have our destiny and ours alone to shape and control.  While I am straight, I have friends that are not, and I want them to have the opportunity to carve their own paths and wear their own shoes without being ashamed, shamed, or abused. I want them to be able to live in the world with the same rights as myself. I hope your book makes a small step in the direction of that world. I think it will.  



 Never Blend In is about more than being gay, straight, or whatever orientation. It’s about the importance of building a life appropriate for you–the real you. Harvey Milk encouraged us to give EVERYONE hope, and this work does just that, showing people that they can live happily and well no matter WHO they are.  




Bless you
I do not think I could blend in for anything. I know I love it, not all do, but I do




I have always been separated from the rest..I have always forged my own path despite the obstacles of being different. The true leaders in all social realms are the individuals. These are the people who are not afraid of closed doors, untraveled paths, and at the end leaders into uncharted territory..Thank you for allowing us to tell our tale. I am and always have been comfortable in my own skin although I know it’s not a suit most would choose to wear..Thanks for giving me the forum to express that. Best of Luck to you…(I know you don’t need it)  



 NBI is likely to be encouraging to anyone who isn’t ‘normal’, with the vital message, Be Youself – normality is at fault! “:o) 



 Adolescence is an emotional minefield for any boy or girl. For gay teens, navigating that treacherous minefield can be especially challenging. 
NEVER BLEND IN is a wildly valuable source of comfort, support and inspiration for young people at this most vulnerable time in their lives.  I applaud David Watters for providing a book that offers a valuable lesson to all young people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation: be comfortable in your own skin, make the most of your own unique assets and never fall for the trap that “being like everybody else” is better, smarter or easier.  





   NEVER BLEND IN is a perfect title because as the book it requires you to surmise your own individual independent meaning. For me..To NOT be a follower…to think for yourself, and to be authentic and pure.  




NEVER BLEND IN is not a negative title, it is a defiant title. It is almost like an elder’s advice – ‘Hey, Kid, Whatever you do & however you live remember – “Never Blend In!”‘.




In the world of “Lost Hope” for the youth of the World this book stands as a beacon of light that others have traveled the road before. “Be true to yourself” & “Never Blend In”.



 Blending in is compromising in all areas of who we are, whether it’s sexuality or not. 



 I always feel inspired by someone everyday. I think we should learn something new each day from anywhere or anyone.I’m inspired, right now, by you; answering your intelligent questions Mr. David Watters. It’s not often I get to answer some great meaningful questions. Often it’s always about sex or training. So Bravo!!!


 Never Blend In,” is so absolutely crucial to our very survival.  For when we first discovered our difference, we believed we were alone.  This is why statistically, gay teen suicide attempts are four times that of heterosexual youth, and for every completed suicide by a gay youth, there are between 100-200 attempts that are made by other gay teens.  Astoundingly, one-third of ALL teenagers who commit suicide do so because they are gay.  In America, we have had as many as 11 teenagers a day commit suicide due to their sexual orientation!  “Never Blend In” provides a guiding light for all LGBT people (in fact, for all non-LGBT people as well) because it demonstrates that not only are you not alone, but that you too can rise to attain your most desired dreams.  There is nothing and no one that can hold you back.  Harvey Milk paved the way for us all to be able to be ourselves and to simultaneously provide a role model for others.  Whether you are the parent, uncle, or cousin of a gay child, or friend of a gay adult, the stories presented here give a unique insight into the relationships we cherish.  You do not need to be gay to be inspired by the lives of these amazing heroes, whose stories are told, often for the first and only time, in “Never Blend In.”  





James Michael McCracken


James Michael McCracken


BORROWED FROM: http://www.ebsqart.com/Artists/cmd_stpeteartisan_Profile.htm 
Growing up in the Appalachians you find things to keep you busy. “Poverty is the father of ingenuity”. My earliest memories were drawing and painting. I am a natural fauvist in style. My painting technique is considered glazing, very much the appearance of fine painted china in hand. My acrylics are inspired by the Italian Renaissance Icons in technique. My oils are 7 layered and inspired by the tutelage of Mr. Boris Vallejo an Internationally known Peruvian painter. I aspired as child to be a Hallmark card artist and fervently studied their painting techniques. I practiced day in and day out. Painting became my escape. I won in all contests entered at grade and high school level. My dream was to attend Pratt, but finances dictated I work as a brush artist for the paper bag industry, and then as a fabric pattern designer. At that time, the only example of art/work available in my area. The pay was barely above minimum wage and it became difficult for me to pick up a brush for enjoyment. Wanderlust set in and off to the Air Force I went. I spent every day I could in Europe travelling the museums and hanging with other artists when off duty, gleaming all the tips and techniques I could from them. I have since studied the Master’s and their techniques extensively. Modern Masters include the Wyeth’s and Boris Vallejo. I am formally educated, and intrigued with the very nature of life itself. I play in many pure forms of medium in paint. I am currently studying Oils on flat board and prepared paper, with a textural component, a step wise procedure to maintain my original artistic style. I hope to also offer small drawings done in classical method as time permits. “Good, better, best, never never rest, till your good is better, and your better is best” A quote over the gym lockers in grade school still motivates me today. I have been painting full time 5 yrs now. As a hobby, I try to enter at least one juried competition a month, many of which are International, and have placed top three many times. These awards are posted on the blog that accompanies each painting on deviantART. I have been featured in many articles and publications online. Now in print both magazine and book as a writer and artist. 


James Michael McCracken 




NOW under contract and represented by StudioMares. http://www.studiomares.com   


"The Messenger" 2008 11"x14" Acrylic on hardboard


WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT J. MICHAEL McCRACKEN MR. ALAN BENNETT ILAGAN is a freelance writer and critic, whose work has been published in Instinct, xy, Q Northeast, Windy City Times, Boston Phoenix, Metroland, and numerous web sites including Out in America, EdgeBoston.com and EdgeNewYork.com. Mr. Ilagan had this to say about my work in an unsolicited email..”I just found some of your work online, and had to comment on how impressed I was by everything you’ve created. You have a wonderful eye, and your execution is amazing. It manages to be both abstract and true to life in the best of both possible ways. Thanks for the inspiration” Alan. He has modelled for famous artists and photographers, including Steven Underhill, Dennis Dean, Michael Breyette and Dave Haskins. MR.TIMOTHY WRIGHT (Coordinator of Faculty) Art Institute of Chicago “Just saw your art. Amazing!”  

MR. ROBERT SQUIRES (Hollywood Art Dealer/Collector/Critic) “Impressive Expressionism”  

Donato Style Events CEO Donato Crowley “Event planner for the Stars” had this to say about my work. “I love your artwork/ it’s amazing as are you”.  

MR. DEL SHORES of “Sordid Lives” Had this to say “I just saw your art… amazing work. I can’t wait to buy your book… and I want my portrait done too :-)”  

MR. RANDY JONES of “Village People” “Thanks for the addition. Lovin’ your work!” RJ.  

MR. JEFF PALMER (photographer) “James..your art is wonderful — individualistic, sensual and provoking — keep going!”  


"Autumn Angel" 2008 8x10 oil on Arches 3D


"Lucky You" 2008 8"x10" Shiva oil on prepared Arches


"Where the Boys Are" 2008 8x10 watercolor Arches

"Where the Boys Are" 2008 8x10 watercolor Arches

SHOWS AND PUBLICATIONS Published in July’09 edition of “G” Magazine. ALL Spain. Cover, 6 pages and full bio. Mucho Gracia! Published Biography Insert/Interview in “Never Blend In” (Words to the GLBT youth.) by Mr. David Watters London,England.Published author and feature writer harvey.milk.com. Cheers Mate! A link to the interview with music at http://blog.hollywoodportraitartist.com “First One Man Art Show “, will consist of 7 large 18″x24” Oil on canvas’ and will be at The American Stage Theater GRAND Opening Black Tie Event, May 26, 2009. The SOLO show will run the entire summer. Update: ALL pieces were sold, and two additional paintings were commissioned. Six pieces in all are currently on Permanent Exhibit at the Raymond James Theatre, Hough Lobby honoring American Stage Theatre Company’s “Commitment to Excellence” The past thirty years in St. Petersburg, Fl. Please contact me via email for any reference contact information. 
JAMES MICHAEL MCCRACKEN INTERVIEW Extract from NEVER BLEND IN: The Legacy of Harvey Milk Sunday, 5 April, 2009  COPYRIGHT NOTICE ©  


I think that many of today’s GLBT youth are focused on fun, sex and a put on “Image”. What they think would be HOT this minute. A HUGE need for validation. Primarily from themselves, and if unable to give that to themselves, will go to great lengths to “feel” it from someone, and sometimes, anyone else. Mentorship in a focused environment can help redirect natural talents and “self” objectives. Unfortunately, there is a huge divide in age from those that have made it to the other side of themselves, and back to their “authentic” starting points. Sexual innuendo often pursues and the real objective is thwarted. 

Writers and directors could make a huge difference…sometimes “fear of loss of profit” thwarts that. I think the best role models may not be in the GLBT community, but actually pertain to the career, or talent the youth expresses. Many polls I have read suggest that the gay youth would be more open to having “older” friends if they could just be platonic. 
It may be necessary to promote cultural differences, as well as other matters that affect the GLBT community. The more in the pot the more likely to find something to connect with, and general commonalities for all. There is so much more going on here than just GLBT minority issues though. It is the crippling effect of that basic non-acceptance of being GLBT, that spawns all other evils of today’s GLBT community. You cannot teach someone to hate themselves, and expect quality production in the future. It becomes a deadly virus that infects us first, then behaves like a parasite by killing the host…in essence..everyone has a lousy day, then you die. 

I think we all hope to see someone like ourselves. There is such a fear that you are the only one. We are not often equipped to appreciate it though. That requires you to appreciate yourself, and as we continue to turn out young GLBT’s that don’t, it can be quite a long path back home. Bring plenty of bread crumbs with you. I hope to see more solid parts rather than the spoof of it all. Often, the straights are playing the gays, and the gays are playing the straights. Not sure that this helps. The more facets to the characters, the better the modeling. We all model behaviors. 

Influence of someone you admired 


All through my life I often heard that “You have great potential” (If you hear that, it is NOT a good sign.) Many people tried to mentor me, but none with longevity. Not ever believing in myself, or understanding, that I was the cause preventing my own dreams from happening. Often by trying to please others, and pleasing no one in the end. Chase your dream young, the partying will always be there. You may not even desire that later, but if you do, you will be eating better cuts of meat, and drinking from the TOP shelf. 

I only have a couple of memories with my father, but he told me once when we where outside painting the house “If you ever get in trouble with life, remember it is only a matter of self control”. Twenty years later, I was able to start picking up the pieces of my life, and that has been a very important key. 
While I was in the military a very special heterosexual male friend, a sergeant, taught me this “You can’t teach a pig to sing…It only annoys the Pig”. 

You can only change yourself through diligence…invest in yourself, embrace who you really are, not who you think people might want. Don’t waste your time fighting others. Once you love yourself, you will want to surround yourself with people that naturally feel the same way as you. I have developed some very beautiful relationships in the past few years. These inspire me each and every day. 
I think that if we can prune back two ways of thinking (right and left) we can make great leaps forward as a whole people. I hope that we will heal ourselves, and be less reactionary. The pain you feel inside is yours alone, the best anyone else can do is to declare empathy….ask yourself is that what I want? Is that a loving environment for myself? One day it will be important again, to become what you envisioned as a child to be…much pain will then melt away. We are all our own worst obstacles to overcome…really. Some take more years than others. If you are a stuck as a giver, or a taker, you are no longer growing. Lastly remember as Smokey the Bear would say…”Only you can prevent Forest Fires” 

A positive impact in a meaningful moment  


I have chosen to walk in that spirit. That is one of the few choices in life that we really have inherently. To make every moment as pleasurable for all involved as possible. (Note: include self here) To remember, rather than have boundaries with ourselves, we should try to have unconditional love for who we have become, or change it, as we maintain healthy boundaries with others. That is true self love. 
I think we all have the potential to have that impact on someone, whether we realize it or not. We really should learn to embrace that as a part of life. It is important to NOT do that which YOU are ashamed of, it will not do any one a favor in the long run. 
I try to take a daily walk with these things, Integrity, honesty (primarily with myself), perseverance, and lastly a true love with anything I am expressing. This all gets more mandatory as you age. If you were to hold true to these things in your youth, you would be twenty years a head of a lot of folks. Attractive is so much more important than sexy or HOT! You will see… trust me. 

Dealing with Discrimination 


It is often so well disguised as something else, except for the military before “don’t ask don’t tell”, that was overt, and completely unnecessary behavior. I went through two “witch trials” in four years. 

I am not considered effeminate, so I do feel pain for those that are. They often made GLBT’s that crumbled to them, my roommates trying to out me. Many abusers feel that gay’s are “whipping posts” and that they are probably used to it. I have heard this before. I do always assert in these instances if present. We really should all observe the “Golden Rule” even if nothing else fits. Always “own” your image…it will be either your friend or your foe. Stand in your grace. 

I would rather hope, as we are now seeing in America with artists like Ari Gold, RuPaul and others, that a young talented person can always be themselves. That is a “Position” we just need to assume, and go forward as they have. That is a basic human right. I have the most respect for them. Our own self hating behaviors are killing us. 

Preachers & Teachers 


In America (Fundamentalist religious institutions are guilty of preaching hate towards gays). Self defeating behaviors for all parties involved is the end result. Too much time is spent holding perceived ground, rather than forging ahead, and mentoring the obvious maladaptive along the way. People clearly need to spend more time studying themselves and helping others, than the opposite. 

As long as you allow lobbyists, there will be problems in the sanctions blurring. We in America have so many primary beliefs to re-evaluate. Things are quite the opposite of the way they were intended often, just to make a buck here and there. 

LGBT role models as part of our education system and culture 


I think we will need more than three states in America to accept same sex marriages before we will see it. Many of us are just waiting for the old guard to die off and they are. It does surprise me how accepting my travels were in Europe and how accepted I was every where. Many of the famous LGBT we know and love here are mostly European, and from centuries ago. I guess it’s that universal “Not here” thing. We must help young people to accept and love themselves, otherwise many horrors are born along the way and needless time is wasted, if not lives. 

I feel that there needs to be strict enforcement of “Hate” demonstrations of all kinds. People whom hate others, generally hate themselves, or they would not project such an image. We must learn tolerance and enforce self control. I really feel like we are lacking in these disciplines. We are such a new country these traits are not engrained over the centuries like Europe. The military would be an excellent opportunity to learn these things, if ” Mom and Dad” neglected them. Europe is ahead of us with this the mandatory military experience. I think it is also a great chance to get free education to pursue your dreams, even to see Europe. There is a lot to be learned in even a four year commitment. College is very important to broaden the mind. If you can stand in the middle (grey area) it is much easier to reach to both sides. “Work smarter not harder.” 

TO PARENTS: Understand that to be different is not alone bad. Rather than focus on what is different, how about be different, and help research their talents and natural abilities, then the obvious, how to make money with that. A successful happy child will grow up naturally to return the favor. Possibly, to even set you free of all the things you have figured out about yourself finally. ..You know you wanted to take those pottery lessons…The safest thing to invest in, other than yourself, is your children…period. 

We must learn to embrace others beliefs for themselves, and be respectful once again. America is perceived as being an arrogant country abroad. I am often shamed by this arrogance myself. Arrogance and ignorance are very closely related. I hope this perception is soon changed globally with our new leadership. I think that in this year 2009 much progress is being made in the GLBT community to reach across our own divisions. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are encouraging mentorship. We must learn to self validate and be of healthier mind. If you feel alone, you are not loving yourself. 

You must accept yourself first. There is nothing wrong with omission, although it can make a bit of a mess at a later point. Often a parent will someday say “I knew that all along” “it’s really such a bigger deal for you than anyone else.” If you family does not accept you …love yourself, and make the best environment you can, until you are able to go out on your own. There are GLBT crisis centers in every country now to help assist and talk with you if you are in danger. The point is, don’t get there…keep who you are to yourself until you really know who you are. That’s the safest thing. 

Love yourself first…Then you will soon be surrounded by the right people. If not, look for them along the way to reaching your goals. That’s where the important ones are busy themselves. If you are with someone and it is not baring fruit for both it is not a healthy relationship. 

Chinese fortune cookie say “Behavior is a mirror in which everyone shows his own image.” 

Alex Marte 11"x14" Acrylic on Premium Canvas.

James Michael McCracken LINKS http://stpeteartisan.ebsqart.com/http://blog.hollywoodportraitartist.com 

"Poached Pears" 2009


"Marco Blaze" crop 8"x10" Shiva Oil on prepared Arches paper. British Model and Actor.

Spread the word…Get Involved


She is the most supportive member of our ever expanding NBI Family and has spoken about the book…you know THE BOOK on PIRATE CAT RADIO!!!


James Michael McCracken has also posted some of our interview here: http://blog.hollywoodportraitartist.com/  Thanks James

Thanks also to Antoine Spiteri for mentioning the book on his site http://www.antoinespiteri.com/exile.htm

If you know of anywhere you can post a link to the group or this blog or talk about the book then please let me know.

Mail me for more information. Have a fantastic weekend ALL.

 Thank you for the overwhelming support.

Spread the word…post the link (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106980051654&ref=ts), tell your friends, repost your own interview and talk to anyone who cares to listen.

Email me at: never_blend_in@rocketmail.com and share your story, your thoughts and opinions and any ideas on how to get the word out.

As Harvey told the New York Times: “We don’t want sympathetic liberals, we want gays to represent gays. I represent the gay street people – the 14-year-old runaway from San Antonio. We have to make up for hundreds of years of persecution. We have to give hope to that poor runaway kid from San Antonio. They go to the bars because churches are hostile. They need hope! They need a piece of the pie!” Blessings, respect and thanks David

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