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A collaborative effort between “agents of change,” Good Men Media, Inc. and Connection Victory Publishing Company. AgentsOfChange@ConnectionVictory.com

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About “Modern Identities”

“Modern Identities” is a publication about how we identify our authentic self: as an individual, in relation to a loved one, and as a member of society. We’ll share heteronormative and non-heteronormative nonfiction, personal stories. We’ll cover the full spectrum of gender, including men and women, both cis and trans, as well as non-binary and a-gender expressions.

We’ll address changing societal gender norms, sexuality and sexual orientation, and whom and how we love. We’ll explore how we think and feel about our…


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By Jon Ochiai

Director Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot as Diana return in “Wonder Woman 1984” (WW84). This time streaming on HBO Max in the COVID-19 era. Too bad, I couldn’t see it in the theater. Too bad, WW84 isn’t as great as the original “Wonder Woman” (2017). Still, “Wonder Woman 1984” is good enough. Surprisingly, the screenplay by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and Dave Callahan is a narrative kluge. The fact that Chris Pine is back as Steve Trevor in 1984, when he died in the exploding plane in World War II, nearly “jumps the shark”. Nearly.

That being…


Photo credit: iStock

By David Tomassi

Theater and Dramaturgy have changed my life and my view of the world. As Shakespeare once wrote in Hamlet’s advice to his players, “to hold, as twere, the mirror up to nature,” we see our lives through the experiences of others before us.

Through reading plays and watching them, we can identify and understand the social construct of different cultures and society, as well as people and families, from private moments made public. From reading the classics to modern plays and learning the history of cultural theater through texts and plays, I’ve learned that life affects people…


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By Mark Liebenow

Neil Chethik, FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads, Hachette Books, 2001.

I hadn’t read this book before because I lost a spouse, not a father. But what Neil Chethik says provides insights into how men grieve any death.

Through interviews and questionnaires of hundreds of men who lost a father, some when they were in their teens to men in their sixties, Chethik presents the scope of male reactions. Some men were on good terms with their fathers, some were not. …


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By Jon Ochiai

In wistful eloquence, Director Dexter Fletcher captures Taron Egerton’s Elton John composing his signature “Your Song” donned in bathrobe, playing the piano in his Mother’s living room. Elton’s dear friend lyricist Bernie Taupin, played by Jamie Bell, listens in enchanted wonder. Glancing at Bernie, Elton sings: “My gift is my song and this one’s for you…”

Elton is gay. Bernie is straight. “Your Song” is my very favorite Elton John song, since I was a teen. It never occurred to me: Was that Elton’s love song for Bernie?

Throughout much of his life, Elton experienced the “slings…


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By Tom Sheehan

To go back part way or all the way in my memory, to the fields and confines of my youth, is to color or discolor those most real situations, is to make more pleasant the quick reverie of triumph, is to soften the seeming indignity of loss. There was a point in time, which seems had no beginning or an end, when I grew with heroes, lived and died with them in their joys and agonies, when I hurt at their fading, saw them one step slower, one ounce weaker, the dream going down the hill.


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By Jon Ochiai

In Pixar’s beloved narrative mythology of the “Toy Story” movies, the toys come to life and speak, only when no one including children is present. Screen writers Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom, and story writers John Lassiter, Andrew, and Director Josh Cooley bring Disney’s animated “Toy Story 4” to life once more.

Tom Hanks voices stalwart Cowboy doll Woody, who ‘raised’ grown up Andy. Tim Allen voices bold spaceman toy Buzz Lightyear, the reluctant best friend to Woody. Woody now belongs to kindergartner Bonnie, voiced by innocent Madeline McGraw. Apparently, Woody has been replaced by self-constructed Forky…


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By Joel Nordness

It’s been 3 years since my divorce, and my dating life has been a lot like North Korean missile testing; one rocket that almost got to orbit, but not quite, and the other ones just exploded spectacularly on the launch pad. There are a lot of reasons it’s been hard for me to move on. Part of it is the white-hot rage I still feel about the unfairness of the situation, my ex-wife cheating and blowing up our family. Part of it is my autism and associated social awkwardness. …


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By Tom Sheehan

Dear Big John and Little John and Billy and Hughie Menzies and Londo and Eddie McCarthy and Breda and Kujawski and the comrade I carried to his death whose name I never knew and all the others I pray for every night yet, the men of the 31st Infantry Regiment and brother outfits of the 17th Regiment and the 32nd Regiment and the 49th Field Artillery Battalion, and all the comrades and all the wars.

Every reading I’ve done for more than 67 years simply begins this way: John Maciag was all bone, knees, elbows, and jaw…


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By Sean Swaby

“When you miss work because of surgery, you get flowers and casseroles. When you are depressed and can’t come to work, you are seen as lazy and weak and no one knows how to respond.”

David Grauwiler

I live with depression, but my diagnosis is not who I am. You and I are much greater than any illness or diagnosis that we may have received. How we talk about about mental illness can have a huge impact our entire life.

Recently I experienced a resurgence in my own depression and anxiety. I told a friend that I…

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