Reblogged from my Tumblr:

proufeyrac:

I want more books and movies with people with disability, but the disability is not important for the plot. Please.

My mom and I are soon publishing a book about my childhood experiences growing up with cerebral palsy, but I agree. We are more than our disabilities.

Cerebral palsy may be the umbrella I have to live in, but I have the same concerns (academics, finances, social life, dating life, etc) as any able-bodied person does. No matter what your ethnicity, religion, or romantic/sexual orientation. Or disability. 🙂

Phineas in the (Prayer) Closet

The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. ~ Sirius Black

A MONTH AGO, while Phineas’ family decides to sit in on a more strictly conservative church service this time around, after being encouraged by a family friend, he could have never expected the words he was going to hear:

“Think back on your life,” a woman standing from the podium begins instructing in a harsh tone. “When was the last time you got down on your knees and spent some time with the Almighty, the Creator of the Universe?”

The congregation sits in dead silence.

“When was the last time you’ve seriously had a talk with Him? Confessed your sins to Him?

“Heck, how often do y’all pray, huh?” No one dares to raise a hand, or move a muscle.

As the message drags on, the more Phineas would grow conscious of some unspoken guilt—until he couldn’t stand this anymore. Holding back pain and tears, he quietly excuses himself and leaves the sanctuary until the service concludes.

His family obviously takes notice, but no one says a word the entire drive home.

“Phineas, what’s wrong?” Ferb would kindly ask his stepbrother.

“N-nothing Ferb,” Phin stutters at first, and lets out a remorseful sigh. “I just feel really uncomfortable with the speech that lady just gave a few hours ago during service today, that’s all.”

But Ferb could tell Phineas was still hiding something very painful inside of him.

“I need to use the bathroom, if that’s alright with you Ferb,” Phineas spontaneously blurts out for Ferb to hear, and turns for a few seconds to face him.

“Go ahead, Phin. If you need anything, I’ll be in our bedroom,” Ferb replies with a warm grin on his face.

In contrast to his brother’s reassuring face, Phineas’ heart and soul was grieving. Grieving with pains that only God Himself could possibly understand. Trudging up the steps and flicking on a light in the upstairs bathroom, he turns on the faucet and starts to wash his face.

With every consecutive splash of water, Phineas eventually stops and stares back intently at his remorseful reflection in the mirror. His drooping sad eyes seem to tell the whole story—memories that suddenly re-emerge in his head that he had been trying to suppress all these years.

He wants to cry, but instead reaches for a towel to dry his face off, the voices trying to break his heart and crush his spirit all in the meantime…

It’s over, he quietly says to himself. I can’t go on like this anymore.

Letting out another remorseful sigh and putting his face towel down, Phineas quietly flickers off the bathroom light and paces towards the bedroom.

But before turning the handle, he shortly pauses and wonders if Ferb was already inside.

I can’t face him like this, came his initial thought, eyes lowering to the carpet he was standing on.

Can he understand how I’m feeling right now? Let alone, would he?

Phineas knew he and Ferb have shared so much of their daily lives together, ever since they were practically toddlers. But he also had an inkling of why it feels increasingly hard to suddenly face him now—because of his unwavering love, respect and devotion for Ferb.

He was also equally afraid of facing even more pain and rejection…

The other side of Phineas: Useless Phineas by 14AmyChan © deviantART

The other side of Phineas: Useless Phineas by 14AmyChan © deviantART

Sucking in his chest, Phineas slowly turns the knob on the door. “Ferb,” he calls.

“Yeah Phin?” Ferb replies, glancing up from a book he was musingly reading in bed.

“I wasn’t sure if you were in here earlier, so I hesitated a bit before coming in,” Phineas murmurs, trying to look away from Ferb, nervously reaching the back of his neck with his left arm.

“It’s fine, Phin. There was no harm in here anyways,” he gently responds and smiles.

“How are you so calm at this moment?!” Phineas suddenly starts yelling from the top of his lungs. “I mean, for as long as we’ve known each other, you’re always the quiet one. And the calmest.”

Yell by kiki-kit © deviantART

Yell by kiki-kit © deviantART

Phineas now wishes he did not just lash out at his stepbrother, and nearly slaps himself in the face for it, and lets out another painful sigh. Dammit! Why did I just yell at him?

“Phin…” Ferb now says, seeing Phineas slouch over in an almost half-dead appearance.

This is all your fault, Flynn. All your flying fault!

Infuriating with burning anger and pain, evidently, Phineas gets so pissed, he loses his stance and collapses on the floor.

“Phin!” Ferb now shouts from the top of his lungs, dropping the book that he was just reading onto the bed, and sprints over to where Phineas now lay: stone cold and passed out. Going with his first gut instinct, Ferb steadily lifts up his stepbrother in his arms, noting the morose and deeply sullen expression on Phineas’ face. Ferb wished he could do something to appeal to his brother’s broken heart, but no words could seem to describe the lamentations he was now vehemently experiencing within his own soul.

''Please, Phineas, stay alive...I need you'' by ValeRossi1416 © deviantART

”Please, Phineas, stay alive…I need you” by ValeRossi1416 © deviantART

Like a loyal soldier aiding a fallen comrade, Ferb slowly and tediously carries Phineas over to his own bed, the christened SS Phineas, gently tucks him in and kisses him goodnight.

I can only imagine the turbulent storms his soul must be going through right now at this very moment, Ferb quietly contemplates to himself, sitting at the foot of his bed in silence.

True to Ferb’s thoughts, Phineas feels a steady darkness shroud his dreams:


He suddenly finds himself standing in the middle of a pitch-black forest, with not a soul in sight to whom he could holler to or call for help. Phineas clutches a wrinkled piece of paper in his hand—a sketchy drawing of Ferb he carries on his person in times of deep distress. He did not know why he was here, or why an eerie mist was shrouding his view from creatures that could be lurking within his vicinity.

His hands tremble furiously as he holds up his drawing of Ferb, and cries, wishing Ferb were here to protect him.

Loneliness by sakataozuraGX © deviantART

Loneliness by sakataozuraGX © deviantART

A lone gray wolf howls far off in the distance.

Phineas dreadfully shakes. Where am I God? he sobs, fearing as though legions of demons would jump out and try to devour him at any moment.

“You’re in Purgatory,” a voice eerily moans somewhere near Phineas’ vicinity.

“Who are you?” he calls out to the voice, quivering in fear and feeling the hairs on his neck stand up on end.

“Me?” the voice now laughs in a wicked and distorted manner. “I AM YOU,” the figure slowly appears from out of the mist, now suddenly speaking in Phineas’ own voice.

Nowhere To Hide by FriendsForFood © deviantART

Nowhere To Hide by FriendsForFood © deviantART

Coming face-to-face with the embodiment of his own grotesque self, Phineas cowers in sheer trepidation, arms covering his head and face, and starts to rock back and forth in a fetus position.

“No, no, this can’t be happening!” Phineas screams. “You aren’t here, devil! Go away!”

The evil Phineas laughs again. “And why would I do that, huh?” he haughtily scoffs, putting his hands on his hips and evilly smirks.

“Because you’re evil, and I’m good! That’s why! Now shoo!” Regular Phineas attempts to rebuke the grotesquely looking figure.

“And if I don’t?”

Phineas did not give an answer, still quivering and blubbering like a baby.

“Oh, and by the way, I have a little something I think you remember!” the demon tempts Phineas, now revealing Perry in his arms.

“PERRY! NO!” Phineas cries and tries to reach out for him, the demon continuing to mock regular Phineas incessantly. “YOU LET HIM GO!”

“Oops…” the demon sarcastically jeers Phineas, trying to make him reach for Perry, who is also just as fearful for his own life and safety.

“Phineas! Phineas, save me!” Perry suddenly cries out.

Aghast, he could not believe what he had just heard as clear as day. “Perry, you can talk?!”

“Well, it is your dream,” Perry gently confesses, lowering his head down solemnly a bit.

“This isn’t a mere dream, Perry. I think this is a NIGHTMARE!” Phineas shouts, still wishing he could hold Perry in his arms.

“Well, good luck bub!” the demon cackles. “You’ll have to get through me to get your Perry back!”

“I WILL GET HIM BACK! YOU JUST WAIT AND SEE! YOU DON’T DEFINE WHO I AM!” Phineas boldly stands up for himself now for the very first time, and prepares to face down his own demon.

If you hurt my Platypus, I'll hurt you. by Melanieh999 © deviantART

If you hurt my Platypus, I’ll hurt you. by Melanieh999 © deviantART


The hours slowly pass as Ferb sits straight up in his own bed, anxiously watching over Phineas like a hawk from across the room. He figured the only way to comfort his brother was to first let him rest.

He did seem like he had a very stressful moment this morning in church, Ferb would ponder to himself as he takes a break from reading his book.

“I just hope he’s okay,” he now mutters under his own breath.

Phineas momentarily shifts his body in Ferb’s direction, indicating he’s in NREM sleep.

Hope he didn’t just hear me, Ferb thinks aloud to himself again, nervously biting his lower lip.

The hours tick by into the late afternoon, shortly before dinnertime.

Phineas invariably wakes up from his nap with loud, irritable coughing.

“Need some water, Phin? Or tea? I’ll be happy to brew you a cup of Earl Grey,” Ferb gladly exclaims, greeting his companion awake to another warm smile, now sitting next to him.

“Tea sounds soothing, Ferb. Thanks,” Phineas sleepily replies, rubbing his eyes in slow and sluggish circles.

“How long was I out?” noticing he was already tucked into bed.

“About four hours,” Ferb replies. “You passed out after throwing that fit of rage at me earlier,” he now says in a melancholy voice.

“Right…look,” Phineas tries to start giving his explanation, and briefly sighs.

“I want to apologize about why I was so pissed off earlier,” Phineas starts confessing solemnly, breathing slowly, eyes lowering to the blankets covering his lower torso. “Several points that lady made in church today made me really irritable.

“I know Phin, I know,” Ferb listens attentively, nodding with understanding and compassion.

“I’ll have Dad brew you some tea for your throat, alright Phin?” Ferb kindly offers Phineas, now standing up, walking over to the nightstand, and placing a hand on Phineas’ to show his courtesy. “Be right back!”

With Ferb barging out the door to find Lawrence, Phineas lethargically sinks back into bed with a soft groan. God, I feel awful.

How am I supposed to tell him? He still ponders over this haunting thought meticulously.

“If only Perry were here,” Phin now softly mutters, eyes now glancing toward the door.

Phineas often did not experience hangovers, due to his overly optimistic resilience and ambitions, but on days like this, nothing felt more regenerating than snuggling up under the covers and forgetting about the world for just a day.

Perry was his other comfort companion—or in this case, comfort pet.

 

Phineas and Perry by meow-meow211298 © deviantART

Phineas and Perry by meow-meow211298 © deviantART

 

As years of memories come sweeping back into Phineas’ mind, he starts to hold back tears again. He really wanted to snuggle with his Perry in his time of need.

Choosing to not dwell on his melancholic thoughts any longer, Phineas groaningly rotates himself to turn off the light on the nightstand and closes his eyes yet again, still with a lingering ill feeling in his stomach.


Downstairs, Ferb maneuvers his way into the kitchen, where he and Lawrence offer to brew up a steaming cup of Earl Grey and set aside a plate of crumpets for Phineas.

“Phin not feeling well, eh son?” Ferb’s dad now sadly inquires the green-haired lad.

“No Dad, not at all,” Ferb could only reply, downtrodden.

“He was about to apologize to me, but I excused myself because I figured he better have this tea for his throat first.” Lawrence nods affirmatively.

“Go easy on him then Ferb, my son,” he says with a warm look in his eyes. The assuring, fatherly kind of look.

“I will Dad. Of course,” Ferb vows as he embraces his biological father for a mere minute before taking the tea and crumpets up to the bedroom.


Phineas lay shivering and whimpering under the covers, praying that his ill feelings and remorse would go away. But the more he shivered, the colder his body seemed to feel, as though he was entering a state of hypothermia.

“Please God…” he finally utters a faint, weak cry. “Forgive me.”

97. Lost by kik-kit © deviantART

97. Lost by kik-kit © deviantART

As tears began to silently stream down his face, he hears a voice echo in the silence.

“Phineas…” It was his biological father Francis.


“What’s wrong, my boy?” the older redheaded man would now ask, placing a hand on Phineas’ shoulder.

Phineas dared to not look at his father, for fear of ostracization and judgment, but only continued crying.

“Dad,” he sniffles. “Dad, I—”

“I can’t look at you, Dad.”

“But why not, Phin?” he asks worriedly.

“Because—because I have a secret I dare not tell anyone, not even you,” Phineas depressingly answers, his body facing away from Francis.

“Phin,” Francis now replies, embracing his son. “I understand if you miss me. I can feel it in my spirit. You visualize me being physically there in the room with you when no one else can understand the pains you are feeling, or the tears you are crying.”

“So promise me you won’t judge me when I confess this then, Dad. Please,” Phin suddenly asserts, turning to look at his dad’s face, tears still lingering in his eyes.

“I promise,” Francis reassures his son.

Be Brave by TiaPunky © deviantART

Be Brave by TiaPunky © deviantART

With a lump in his throat, Phineas admits, “I have affections for Ferb, deep, deep affections for him.”

“As your brother?” Francis asks, raising an eyebrow.

“Maybe more than that, Dad. As a boyfriend. It’s really hard to explain,” Phineas finishes saying, crestfallen, his voice lowering and trailing off.

“And do you have feelings for Isabella?”

“At this point, just as a friend,” he mutters.

“Like the ‘I got your back’ kind of friend?” Francis tries to humor with his son.

“Well, yes, but I haven’t developed deep romantic feelings for her yet,” Phineas shyly admits.

“You feel like you’re obligated to fall in love with her, huh?” Francis asks bluntly.

“In time, yes,” Phineas admits. “But I’m much closer to Ferb right now.”

“Because he’s always there for you?

“Yes Dad, yes.” Phineas emphasizes, letting out a sigh.

“I’ve always heard it’s a sin in the Bible to love another male as a romantic partner, but after you left, and he and his father joined our family, I’ve grown to be very fond of him.”

“Well, I have seen how you two connect, if that’s what you’re referring to, son.” Francis answers with a disarming smile.

“He’s the brother I always have wanted to ask for, Dad.” Phin now starts to look up and smile at his father as well. “All I ask is that you love me, hold me, and bless me.”

“And I do, son.” He re-embraces Phineas tightly. “I do.” Phineas begins crying tears of relief this time.

“Just remember that I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU, no matter what you choose to be in life, Phin. Never stop smiling, and never stop loving others as you love yourself.”

“Thank you, Dad.” Phin now says with a smile spreading across his face.

PnF: Smile big boy by OneSmartIdiot © deviantART

PnF: Smile big boy by OneSmartIdiot © deviantART


“Phin, you alright?” Ferb now asks, knocking on their bedroom door. “May I come in?”

“Ferb? Ferb, is that you?” Phineas asks, still in confusion over the dream with his father he just had.

“Yeah Phin, it’s me,” he warmly replies. “I’ve brought you a steaming glass of Earl Grey tea and crumpets for you to enjoy.”

“Set them on the nightstand for now,” Phin answers, clearing his throat.

“You seem calmer now. Everything okay?” Ferb asks inquisitively, and takes a seat next to his brother on the bed.

Phineas still wouldn’t dare make direct eye contact with his brother, but gazed coldly down at his hands clasped between his legs.

“I just woke up from a dream,” he starts to say.

“Like the one you were having a few hours ago?”

“Well yes, except this one was more peaceful, and reconciling.

“Reconciling?” Ferb almost recoils at hearing the word.

“I just had a vision about seeing my dad again, and I told him something—” Phineas stops talking abruptly, to gaze into Ferb’s deep ocean-blue eyes, nearly as saturated as his own.

“Something about?” Ferb asks, puzzled.

“I think I love you Ferb,” Phineas chokes up, and steadily throws his arms around his protective stepbrother. “I’ve been trying to make sense of this for so long,” he continues sobbing.

“Please forgive me…”

 

It's okay, mate. --NOT MINE-- by  FossilsDaDaDa (Shared by Visigoth101) © deviantART

It’s okay, mate. –NOT MINE– by FossilsDaDaDa (Shared by Visigoth101) © deviantART

 

 


“Phineas,” Ferb utters in response. “Phineas…”

But Phin could not let go of Ferb just yet, his one true brother and dear friend.

“Phineas, it’s okay mate,” Ferb soothes his brother, patting and rubbing him gently on the back.

“I love you bro,” he utters in between his tears.

“I know bro, I know.” Ferb says, now a mellow and solemn expression also casting over his face as well.

The Seer-You Know What Happens by PnFWizard © deviantART

The Seer-You Know What Happens by PnFWizard © deviantART

When there were no more tears left to cry, Phineas could finally break away and wipe away his sniffles and tear-stained face.

“Phineas, look at me.” For the very first time on this day, Phineas could gaze up at his brother, and start to smile a little.

“You are the bravest boy I know, you know that?” Ferb says, holding Phineas’ hands.[1]

Phin had to chuckle at the very thought.

“Yes, yes Ferb. Very much,” as he would softly blush. “But I hope this doesn’t change the fact that we are still brothers,” Phin softly but happily sighs.

“No! No of course not, you dork!” Ferb jeers sarcastically at Phineas, also lightly chuckling too. “We will always be brothers, no matter what,” he compliments Phin with a smile.

“Awwww you!” Phin snickers and replies with a kiss on Ferb’s nose, while Ferb flicks his gently, as a sign of goodwill.

“But no sex…” Phin immediately asserts, raising a finger.

“Oh HELL NO bro!” Ferb says aloud. “Even if we were gay, I would so not be looking forward to that…” as he rolls his eyes disgustingly.

“Agreed,” Phineas replies, still smiling. “But you ARE looking pretty sexy right about now,” he compliments his British bro in a flirtatious manner.

“As do you bro,” Ferb replies, as Phin snickers and blushes again.

“So, do you wanna share some crumpets now?” Ferb raises the suggestion, eyeing the plate on the nightstand.

“That would be lovely!” Phineas laughs in his sarcastically humorous and mocking British accent.

As they both reach over to each take a crumpet in hand, they vow to stay brothers for as long as they live. “Cheers,” the boys would exclaim as they bumped their crumpets together, chewed, laughed, and smeared each other’s faces humorously.


EPILOGUE:

Over the following month, Phineas and Ferb have bonded even closer still, even saying grace with the family at mealtimes, in church, and in their bedroom together. Phineas was no longer intimidated by the thought of his sins eating away at his soul, because he would remember that God, and his father Francis, are always willing to listen to whatever he had on his mind, heart and soul, and that he, his faithful brother Ferb, and their pet platypus Perry are eternally loved and unconditionally accepted by Him. Amen. O:)

My Bro by Lelka-Philka © deviantART

My Bro by Lelka-Philka © deviantART

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’

~ Matthew 18:2-4 (ESV)


Phineas also pays his respects at his father’s grave on Easter Sunday.

I Believe by KicsterAsh © deviantART

I Believe by KicsterAsh © deviantART

 

Inspirations/Acknowledgements: Initially, when I first conceived of a concept for this fanfiction, I wanted to make Phineas a fallen angel figure, who would be left to battle the forces of evil on Earth, but later, decided it was too complicated, and refocused the story on the evil in his soul instead—ergo, what Christians call “sin.”

The opening scene where Phineas gets easily upset in the church service is in fact inspired by a real-life event that happened to me four months ago while attending church with my dear friend, Andrew Kang.

I also allude to the relationship the Biblical figures David and Jonathan have had in the Old Testament towards the end, where Phineas cries in front of Ferb, if you catch it.

Additional acknowledgements to the deviantART users from which I borrow and cite my artwork from, and to Tim Be Told, for their incredibly uplifting music.

April 25th UPDATE: This fanfiction story is actually an interquel—a prequel to Phineas Confesses He’s Bi I first wrote last November—and a sequel to Little Drummer Boys I wrote for Christmas.


Lastly, consider this as my open letter to all gay and bi Christian youth out there, who are struggling to reconcile their same-sex attractions with their faith, maybe even believing it’s not doable or possible, as I have once also strictly believed. If you feel or have previously felt like a church community is excommunicating you because of your newfound confessions and admissions concerning your orientation, I want you to remember: Jesus was rejected and despised on too, right before He went to the cross on Good Friday.

And yet we are still called to be His beloved children today.

© STEELEHOUSE MEDIA and The Skit Guys®

© STEELEHOUSE MEDIA and The Skit Guys


To close on a humble endnote, I would like to quote Ash Beckham:

So the next time you find yourself in a pitch-black closet clutching your grenade, know we have all been there before. And you may feel so very alone, but you are not. And we know it’s hard, but we need you out here, no matter what your walls are made of.

Because I guarantee you there are others peering through the keyhole of their closets, looking for the next brave soul to bust a door open. So be that person, and show the world that we are bigger than our closets, and that a closet is no place for a person for a person to truly live.[2]

Don't cry, Phineas by isuzu9 © deviantART

Don’t cry, Phineas by isuzu9 © deviantART


 

In Loving Memory of Joseph Chen and Max Horng


The Song That Inspired This Fanfiction:


Little Drummer Boys

The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do. ~ Unknown

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN, as Phineas and Ferb are filled with Holiday Cheer.

Waking up on a cold, crisp and snowy Christmas Eve, the boys anticipate the excitement of the coming day—building giant snowmen, decorating the town with lights, stars, and streamers abound, hanging out with the rest of the gang—and later that evening, attend the yearly Nativity service at church with their wonderfully blended family.

“What are you looking forward to the most today, Ferb?” Phineas cheerfully inquires his faithful stepbrother, almost immediately changing into his winter outfit while sitting up straight in bed.

“Definitely the hot chocolate and eggnog, and the Christmas carols we’ll be hearing all around town,” he replies busily putting on his sweater at the moment.

“And you Phin?” Ferb gladly raises an eyebrow to smile back at him, placing a hand on his lap before getting up to grab his coat and scarf off the coat rack.

Phineas curiously pauses for a minute, glancing up at the ceiling. “That’s a hard one, Ferb,” he starts off saying. “You know I have a difficult time having to pick favorites.”

“It’s the presents, isn’t it?” Ferb sneers at Phin with a chuckle.

“No, not the presents. We get those every year…”

“Building snowmen? Decorating the town?”

“That’s festive, but, no.” Phin says, immediately eliminating those options from his mind.

“Kissing Isabella under the mistletoe?” Ferb sneers joyously again.

That Christmas Feeling... by KicsterAsh © deviantART

That Christmas Feeling… by KicsterAsh © deviantART

“I’d bet she’d love it, but no, that’s not it either.” Phineas laughs a little sheepishly at first, but then puts a hand on his chin in a sad and contemplative manner.

“You know I was joking about that last one, right Phin?” Ferb assures his stepbrother firmly.

“Of course, Ferb. We all know you’re quite the jokester around these parts,” Phineas now says, starting to chuckle lightly at the thought.

“Is it Perry?” Ferb interrupts, seeing that their family pet is just starting to wake up from his morning nap.

Somehow, hearing Perry’s name brings back bittersweet memories for Phineas. Glancing over at the teal-colored, fuzzy platypus now climbing up and chattering politely at the foot of his bed, he suddenly recalls the day their family brought him home from the pet store.

“Something wrong, Phin?” Ferb now starts noticing his worrisome face.

“Perhaps, Ferb. But I can’t seem to put a finger, or a hand, on my thoughts at the moment. I’m suddenly finding myself trying to recall some memory from the past that I’m not even aware of right now,” he honestly confesses to his beloved stepbrother.

“Hmm. Well, maybe the memories will slowly come back to you as the day progresses,” Ferb reassures him, placing a warm hand on Phineas’ shoulder. “But you should probably start changing into your outfit. It’s already 9:30,” Ferb advises him, tilting his head at the alarm clock.

“Alright Ferb,” Phin warmly replies with a smile. “I’ll try.”

“That’s my boy! Want me to help you get your clothes?”

“That’d be great Ferb! Thanks!” Phineas exclaims, now feeling a little more reassured than before.


After a hearty breakfast, the boys ask to be excused to the backyard to watch the snow gently fall around them. Linda happily agrees, only advising them not to be too long; otherwise, they’d miss the afternoon caroling.

Upon opening the screen door, a frosty winter wind bites their noses, as the brothers hurriedly dig their gloved hands into their coat pockets.

“Would you look at that, Ferb? The snow’s coming down nicely this year,” he happily exclaims, observing the pure whiteness of the scenery that lay before him. His inner child leaped with joy, becoming fully absorbed in the calm and serene background.

PnF - Snow Day by RatchetMario © deviantART

PnF – Snow Day by RatchetMario © deviantART

“Remember when we used to build smaller snowmen as toddlers?” Phineas turns back to ask Ferb. He gently nods.

“Wanna build a colossus one this year?” Phineas now starts squealing with delight, eyes lighting up at the image now ever glowing in his head.

“Sure Phin,” Ferb calmly replies, radiating a warm, soft grin from his face.

Perry momentarily comes walking outside. “What do you think Perry? Do you want to see us build a colossal snowman?” He gives a warm smile at Phineas, and delightfully chatters.


From "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation" Winter Vacation Opening Sequence

From “Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation” Winter Vacation Opening Sequence

Another two hours pass as the snowman outgrows the size of the house. Putting the last finishing touches on Frosty’s gargantuan carrot nose and face, Linda Flynn calls the boys in for a quick lunch, whilst reminding them of their afternoon priorities.

“We know, Mom,” Phineas replies in between bites.

“You can go across the street to wish Isabella and her family a Happy Hanukkah when you two are done, ok?”

“Ok Mom!” Phineas gives his swift response.

“C’mon Ferb! We gotta go decorate the town before the caroling begins!” he exclaims, turning to Ferb again, before pushing in their chairs at the dining room and running out the front door.

As the bros gather up the rest of the gang around Danville, everyone hurriedly starts getting into the Spirit.

And not before long, the city itself begins glistening brightly with streamers, ornaments, and wrapping paper abound, as Christmas music starts ringing throughout the streets, accompanied by a multitude of fellow Danvillians.

From "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation" That Christmas Feeling Sequence

From “Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation” That Christmas Feeling Sequence


Despite all the festivities, however, Phineas’ sheer optimism still could not resolve the issue of the hollow memory he cannot seem to recall from this morning when he was in bed. Surprisingly, throughout the entire afternoon, he could almost imagine hearing a voice inside of him somewhere telling him that everything was going to be all right. He just needed to believe, and trust in that voice.

By nightfall, as the caroling continued in the distance, he started hearing the words to The Little Drummer Boy being sung more coherently, as the Flynn-Fletcher family approaches the local church in a horse drawn sleigh.

As Lawrence and Ferb Fletcher thank the sleigh driver for the ride, Phineas’ ears become sharply attuned and fixated on the slow and peaceful hymn.

Little baby
Pa-rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy, too
Pa-rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa-rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
[1]

Slowly but surely, the music jogs Phineas’ memory as he suddenly remembers a time when he and Candace were younger, years ago, their biological father would read them the story of The Crippled Lamb every Christmas Eve, as they both would snuggle up-close in his loving arms, until they fell fast asleep with warm smiles on their faces.

Thanks Daddy by Unithes © deviantART

Thanks Daddy by Unithes © deviantART

Back in the present time, as the family now strolls in through the church doors and into the main sanctuary, the boys catch a glimpse of the marvelous stained glass windows adorning the facade above the altar, and a large wooden cross hanging on the wall behind the podium. A few feet away to the right, a dazzling six-foot Christmas tree strung with lights, streamers, and ornaments sits on the stage, and right away, Phineas is amazed by the colors and the lights.

“Welcome Flynn-Fletcher family. So glad to see you all again this year,” Reverend Johnson, a man in his mid-thirties with fine hair, extends a hand of gratitude to the parents and the boys.

“Glad to see you too Reverend,” everyone immediately replies, except for young Phineas.

Noticing that his face was fixated on the tree, and then the stained glass windows above, the reverend chuckles and bends down to greet Phineas. “Enjoying a view of the sanctuary, I see, eh Phineas?” he kindly asks.

Spontaneously breaking his concentration, Phineas suddenly exclaims, “Oh, yes. Hi Pastor.”

“Good evening, my boy. Merry Christmas!” Reverend Johnson replies with a wide grin on his face and a gentle ruffling of Phineas’ hair.

“Merry Christmas to you too sir,” Phineas replies and smiles while glancing back up at the stained glass windows.

Stained_Glass_Windows (2)

“And who do we have here?” Reverend Johnson humorously greets Perry standing on the floor, stroking his head.

“Oh, that’s Perry, our pet platypus,” Phineas shortly replies, looking down at Perry.

“Why, hello Perry. Welcome to church!” the reverend exclaims, continuing to stroke his fur until you can start to hear him purr.

“As you know, I love animals, and don’t place any restrictions on families bringing their pets to services, unlike other pastors and their churches,” the reverend explains while finishing stroking Perry and standing back up to face the family. “All are welcome in the House of God!”

“Bless your heart Pastor,” Linda joyfully says to Reverend Johnson.

“Thank you Linda. We will be starting service shortly. Why don’t you all take a seat momentarily?” he gestures them towards the pews closer to the altar.

As the family slowly files past each other and takes their seats, Phineas still can’t stop staring at the tree and the stained glass windows with child-like wonder and excitement.

As the opening music starts to fade, Pastor Johnson takes his place at the pulpit on stage.

With his Bible laid out in front of his view, and a mike gripped in his right hand, he introduces tonight’s sermon:

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, children and pets, members of the LGBT community, beloved Children of God. As you all should know, tonight is a very commemorative night. What’s the occasion?”

He holds the mike out to the congregation. “Christmas Eve!” the crowd shouts in unison.

“That’s right! It’s Christmas Eve, the night before…”

“Jesus is born!” the congregation shouts again.

“Right, but only according to tradition,” Pastor Johnson now chuckles into the mike. “Most of us here should know Jesus was not really born in the wintertime. Otherwise, He’d freeze to death!” Some in the crowd start laughing raucously. “No, many scholars hypothesize Jesus Christ, our Beloved Lord and Savior was probably born during the late autumn months…around September or October.”[2]

“But in all seriousness folks, it should not matter when we celebrate the birth of the awaited Savior, but why. Amen?”

“AMEN!” the congregation shouts joyfully.

“Amen! Praise God! Now, I encourage you to open your Bibles provided in the folds in front of your seats to the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 1.” The sound of hundreds of Bibles being opened and pages being turned furiously thunder throughout the room.

“Matthew, Chapter 1, starting with verse 18…

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

 

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.’

 

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’[g] (which means ‘God with us’).

 

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

 

~ Matthew 1:18 – 25 (NIV)

 

After he had finished reading aloud the Scripture, Pastor Johnson proceeded to elucidate on the meanings behind the famous story:

“I’m certain you’ve heard of the Nativity story many times growing up, and throughout your adult life. Mary’s the Holy Virgin who gives birth to the Son of God, who is essentially God in the flesh, God Incarnate. The Catholic Church decided to develop a doctrine in the 19th century called the Immaculate Conception, of which they bestow upon the Holy Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. This concept seems to make sense in theory, but there’s one problem with this doctrine here: the actual Scriptures do not state ‘Mary was sinless.’ It only states, ‘Mary’s a virgin, and Joseph’s her wedded husband by the Jewish law and custom of the time.’ Amen?”

“Amen!” The congregation shouts again.


As Pastor Johnson’s sermon continues, he explains his analysis on the significance of the Magi and the mysterious yet awe-inspiring Star of Bethlehem, showing a few clips from The Nativity Story to help drive the narrative:

The Birth of the Christ Child


The Visit of the Shepherds and the Magi


The Flight to Egypt


As the film credits start to roll and the hymn to Silent Night gently plays in the background, the boys cannot help themselves but sob together in each other’s company, remarking how beautiful the story is—and coincidentally, allowing the pastor to take a fifteen-minute intermission.

“You alright boys?” Pastor Johnson warmly asks, approaching the two in the aisleway.

“We’re alright Pastor, thank you,” Ferb reassures him in between the sniffles. Phin, though, still seemed to be shedding tears.

“Movie was too beautiful for you, huh Phin?” the pastor initially tries joking with him.

“Yes Pastor, but the movie brought up several vivid memories from my childhood I thought I had all but forgotten,” Phineas now confesses to the two sitting close to him. “Beautiful, but sad memories,” he finishes saying, wiping away more tears.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Phin,” Pastor Johnson now says in a sincere and solemn manner. “You are always welcome to come talk to me about them after service tonight, if you’re still feeling down. You also happen to know you have a very loving and supporting family, right?”

“Yes sir, I do. And thank you,” Phineas smiles with a gentle gaze from his tear-streaked face.

“It’ll be alright, my boy,” the pastor reassures him emotionally, before shortly having to return to the stage in a few minutes.

There it is again—that saying. ‘It’ll be alright,’ Phineas musingly ponders for a long time on those very words. What does he exactly mean when he says those words? The question continues to loom and echo inside his head…


Just then, Pastor Johnson signals the end of the intermission by preparing to speak again.

“Hello, beautiful ladies and gentlemen. I hope you’ve had an enlightening and uplifting experience so far tonight. The Nativity Story, to me, you see, is not just one of mystery, but of miracles…”

Several amens and cheers can be heard emanating spontaneously from the crowd.

“Whenever I visualize the story of the Nativity, I don’t just see the birth of a divine Christ child. I see the literal Spirit of God dwelling among us, living inside of us, and thanks to His work on the Cross, we can now live with Him,” he firmly emphasizes pointing a finger up at the sky.

More amens.

“The Scripture says, ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’

That’s from the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 4, verses 15 – 16.”

“That is the sole message I want to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Jesus didn’t come to this Earth to live a comfortable life. No, He came to empathize with us, understand us, and live with us. I mean, really think about it. God in the flesh—a Holy sinless God taking on the body of a mere mortal man. That’s a miracle right there,” Pastor Johnson now emphasizes, pointing a finger at his audience. “That’s the Christmas miracle.”

Applause soon erupts throughout the building, as he quietly gestures towards the worship band to play their selections of closing songs for the night. And they couldn’t have picked a more suitable track either:

As the worship leaders lead the audience into the song, and as the clapping intensifies and surges throughout the sanctuary, Phineas finds himself emotionally slain in the Spirit, raising his outstretched arms to praise the Almighty. He even starts to pray quietly under his own voice, muttering:

Lord, I thank You for Your unconditional love

I thank you for my family, my brother Ferb, our platypus Perry

Upon saying this, Phineas gently ruffles Perry’s head and smiles

Ash Wednesday by SecretagentG © deviantART

Ash Wednesday by SecretagentG © deviantART

I am amazed at the wonders You do every day for me, Lord

And I am always broken when I enter Your presence…


At this point, the music swells immeasurably, that the volume drowns out Phineas’ words. He smoothly rejoins the harmonizing of the crowd, until a roar of applause thunders from every corner of the sanctuary, ending the first song, and leading into the second one.

Pastor Johnson momentarily intercedes to give a quick prayer, eyes closed and head bowed:

Lord, You are such an awesome Father, an awesome God

No human words can ever come close to describing how magnificent You truly are

The Psalmist writes Your Hands declare the work of the heavens,

That You are a lamp unto our feet

Father God, we thank You ever so much for Your Christmas miracle

Even after two millennia, we will still never be able to fathom the depths to which Your Son was born into

But it moves our hearts and spirits every time

We praise You Father

In Jesus’ Name

Amen

The second song opens as Pastor Johnson disappears back under the spotlights into the shadows.

As the crowd steadily chants and worships with one heart and one voice, several even quietly praying in tongues, Phineas hears a voice echo and reverberate in the stillness.

“Be brave, my son.” The voice sounded exactly like that of his late father, Francis Flynn.

Phineas quietly shudders at the very thought. Could it be? he wonders.

.:Angels:. by kiki-kit © deviantART

.:Angels:. by kiki-kit © deviantART

Another verse later, Phineas hears his father’s voice again. “I am here, son. I am here with you.”

Still thinking he’s under some sort of hypnotic trance or hallucination, Phineas tries blinking a few times to see if he’s still wide awake.

Again, the voice returns. “I am here, son.”


Suddenly finding himself under a bright light, young Phineas tries to peer at the source with a hand over his eyes. As the image gradually comes into focus, he sees a man whom is none other than his father Francis, standing a few feet away from him.

“I’m here, son.” He repeats again with a wide smile across his face.

“Dad…” Phineas blurts aloud. “Dad, I thought I lost you,” he now loudly exclaims, running into Francis’ loving arms once again, trying not to sob.

“My boy, look at how you’ve grown!” Francis startlingly remarks upon observing Phineas’ current state.

“I miss you so much, Dad.” Phineas starts to say in between his sobs. “When I heard you got struck by that car so many years ago, I…I-” he can barely even continue to explain without wanting to cry and embrace his father tightly.

.:-I Miss You-:. by Spectral-Ninja © deviantART

.:-I Miss You-:. by Spectral-Ninja © deviantART

“Phineas, my boy,” Francis begins to say. “No need for apologies here.”

“But the pain hurts, Dad! I want you to come home with me!” Phineas screams with bitterness and frustration.

“My boy,” Francis would gently begin again. “My dear boy,” he says, soothing his son’s tender and broken heart. “My boy, look at where you are kneeling right now. I AM ALREADY HOME,” his voice booms and thunders as he lifts an arm to show Phineas where they currently are.

The sight is astounding. “Is this Heaven?” Phineas suddenly asks in amazement, eyes ever widening at the glorious scenery.[3]

“The edge of it, yes son,” Francis replies with another warm and grateful smile.

“Is this real?” Phineas asks again in amazement and disbelief.

Francis lightly chuckles at hearing his son’s question. “Only when you have faith as small as a mustard seed, then yes, this is real.”[4]

Phineas’ heart experiences a moment of mercy and humility. “I believe,” he utters quietly, prostrating himself in the presence of his father, as he feels Francis’ hand touch his head.

“I know you do, son, and God does too,” Phineas can coherently hear his father’s voice proclaim.

At the sound of this, Phineas rises and re-embraces his father again in smiles. “I love you Dad,” he mutters loud enough so Francis can hear.

“I love you too, Son,” Francis finally replies, this time with tears of indescribable joy streaming down his face.


As the anointing sensation slowly begins to fade, and Phineas wakes up again back on planet Earth, he blinks his eyes open again a few more times to find his family members and the pastor all staring down at him with big, wide eyes.

“Did you have any sweet dreams, Phineas?” Ferb starts asking shortly.

“Ferb? Candace? Perry? Mom? Dad? Pastor Johnson? Where am I?” Phineas starts asking, still in a daze.

“You’re lying in the pews, dear,” Linda Flynn tells him. “Pastor Johnson says you passed out during worship, and the team decided to bring you a blanket and a pillow to sleep on, so you wouldn’t be cold.”

“Where’s everyone else?” Phineas curiously asks, looking around the deserted sanctuary.

“They’ve already went home. It’s almost ten o’clock at night, Phineas,” Pastor Johnson calmly explains.

“Ten o’clock?!” he shouts. “How long have I been out for?” he gravely asks, putting a hand to his head.

“I’d say about an hour, Phineas,” Pastor Johnson answers.

Noticing that the tree is still standing there, lights aglow, he spontaneously blurts out, “Ever notice that tree has no star, sir?”

“Why yes, Phineas,” suddenly turning to face it. “But we don’t usually put the star on top until Christmas Day to commemorate the occasion,” he finishes, smiling at Phineas once more.

Turning his head in a gesture, Phineas asks, “May I, sir?” with pleading innocent eyes.

“Of course Phineas,” Pastor Johnson swiftly replies, slowly leading the family towards the colossal-looking Christmas tree.

As Phineas gets closer to the tree and the stained glass windows above, his eyes seem to light up as bright as the tree itself.

“Do you have any Christmas wishes, Phineas?” Linda Flynn gently asks her son, whose gaze is completely fixated on the tree.

Seeing his own reflection in an ornament, he joyfully replies, “Why yes. Yes, I do” and grins.

Pulling an ornament out of his pocket, and asking Ferb to activate a switch, the ornament blows up into a full-size Nativity scene, complete with Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and animal figurines.

christmas-nativity-wallpapers-1920x1200

“What’s all this Phineas?” his parents, sister and Pastor Johnson cautiously ask the boys.

“It’s a little something Ferb and I invented in our free time. Portable figurines,” he exclaims with a smile appearing on his face again, holding up one more figurine in his palm.

“Who’s that, Phineas?” Candace spontaneously asks.

“It’s Francis, our dad, as an angel,” he replies with a loving grin.

“Francis, our biological dad?” Candace stunningly exclaims.

“Yes Candace. Our Dad. The one who used to read us that storybook every Christmas Eve before we went to bed,” he says, referring to his vision.

“You still remember that?” she asks in sheer amazement.

“Of course! Don’t you?” he replies, giving her a reassuring glance.

“Well,” she starts off, “I have, but I try not to dwell on those memories,” she now finishes with a remorseful sigh.

“It’s alright, Candace. I love both of your fathers,” Linda now assuredly says to Lawrence, Ferb and Phineas listening.

“And I am indeed very sorry for your loss,” Lawrence now says, expressing his condolences for Linda’s first husband.

“I know Lawrence,” she says, now gently kissing him on the cheek.

“Many years ago, when Francis passed away, there was a period of time where I really did believe I could never love another man as I did with him. And then God somehow led me to you,” Linda finishes her sentence, exchanging a smile with Lawrence.

“And I was there presiding over both of your wedding ceremonies!” Pastor Johnson now interjects in the sentimental conversation.

“Yes Reverend. You were. Thank you,” Linda exclaims, holding her beloved children in her arms.

“Well, would you like to do the honors, Ferb?” Phineas now asks his stepbrother, revealing another switch that would make the Francis figurine come to life.

With the press of a button, the Francis figurine grew incrementally into its life-sized form, and could even start moving and talking as well.

“Hi kids!” the figurine calls out.

“FRANCIS?!” Linda cries out, shocked by the figurine’s life-like appearance.

“Hi Linda,” the figurine now calmly greets his former wife.

You Found Me by KicsterAsh © deviantART

You Found Me by KicsterAsh © deviantART

“Oh my gosh, it is you!” she screams, running to embrace Francis, as his life-like arms held her tightly. “I never thought I’d ever see you again!” she now sobs.

“It’s okay Mom. I just saw the real one in a vision,” Phineas calmly explains, pulling at his mother’s coat.

“You have?” she asks, now in between her sobs.

Phineas gently nods. “Yes, yes I did. He’s with Jesus now,” and lets out another grin.

Under the bright Christmas lights, one can now faintly observe a cross smeared on his forehead, a sign that Phineas had received his blessing from God.


As the family wishes and bids the pastor and Francis a good night and Merry Christmas as they walk out of the church and into the snow, something sparkling—twinkling even—seemed to fall out of the clear night sky and onto Phineas’ head.

“Oof!” Phineas lets out a spontaneous cry.

It was a star! A shining Christmas star that glowed ever so bright!

“But how?” Phineas now asks himself.

Just then, the star leaps out of his hand, flies around and around in circles until it displays a message in the night sky for a good five minutes before the words fade:

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.[5] I love you, dearest Phineas.

Your Father,

FRANCIS FLYNN

Thanks for the star, Dad by 3xj © deviantART

Thanks for the star, Dad by 3xj © deviantART

Now THAT is a Christmas miracle! Phineas would smile brightly and think to himself.

“Thanks Dad!” he would joyfully cheer and wave at the sky, as the star seems to magically wave a hand back, before zooming up to the heavens, creating a sonic boom in the process.


Inspirations/Acknowledgements:

Besides being one of the LONGEST pieces I have ever written to date, and will post on this blog, I pray that this fanfiction will be a tremendous blessing to all who read it from cover to cover.

Having seen a re-run of the Phineas and Ferb: A Christmas Family Vacation special again on TV recently, I have personally questioned the over-commercialization and popularity of Ol’ Saint Nick in mainstream culture and conceptualization, who, in reality, doesn’t bear any resemblance to the actual Saint Nicholas of history at all (sorry kiddies). 😦

Rediscovering A Christmas Icon: Nicholas the Wonderworker | Sustainable Traditions

Rediscovering A Christmas Icon: Nicholas the Wonderworker | Sustainable Traditions

Personal acknowledgements to deviant KicsterAsh for creating and conceptualizing Francis Flynn as Phineas’ biological father, as well as for every other deviantARTist I borrow artwork from in advance to use in this page-turning fanfiction.

A personal shout-out to fellow deviant SecretagentG as well, for christening Phineas and Ferb as faithful Christians. God bless you girl!  😀

Additional acknowledgements to the Hillsong United worship teams all around the world for writing and harmonizing their music to bring glory and praise to God Almighty above, and for the Church on Earth below.


The denomination the Flynn-Fletcher family attends in this story is a fictionalized mixture of the (LGBT-affirming sector) of the United Methodist Church meeting Pentecostalism, as I grew up in the (Charismatic) Pentecostal tradition, while my father was raised Methodist from my grandmother, who discovered Chinese Methodism in her younger years. My mother, on the flip side, attended an all girls’ Catholic high school in Taiwan before later on discovering Evangelical Christianity, shortly before marrying my father.

Henceforth, why I mention the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

In Loving Memory of Max Horng and Joseph Chen


The Titular Hymn for Whom this Fanfiction is Named for:

Phineas Confesses He’s Bi

It’s Fall in Danville, as the nights grow ever longer and the days ever shorter. Hearing the school bell ring at the end of another long day, young Phineas Flynn quietly packs his books and papers and shuffles them away in his backpack.

 

PnF___Hi_Phineas____by_sam_ely_ember

PnF – Hi Phineas… by sam-ely-ember © deviantART

“What’d you think of Bio lab today, Phineas?” the ever still spunky Isabella Garcia-Shapiro asks, graciously approaching his desk, presenting a warm and welcoming smile, with an intense glow emanating from her eyes.

 

“It was alright, Isabella” he replies with a sigh and a rather downcast look, eyes lowered to his belongings.

 

“What’s wrong?” she empathetically asks, placing a gentle hand of his shoulder. Just the feel of it wanted to make him cry.

 

“Oh baby…” Izzy goes in to hug him in an effort to soothe his worries.

 

“You wouldn’t understand, Isabella. I have a lot on my mind right now” he honestly replies.

 

“You can always tell me, Phineas. Trust me on this one.” Izzy warmly reassures him.

 

“I know, but…” stopping his sentence short biting his lower lip in agony.

 

“But?” as she waited for his response. He dared not answer, only look her in the eyes and let them do the talking. She knew he was feeling troubled, but wasn’t sure how to help him this time.

 

“I’m thinking about going to the school psychologist to talk out my problems, if that’s alright with you” he finishes saying, staring at her firmly in the eyes to reassure her he was being completely honest.

 

“I trust you. Let me know how your session goes then, huh?” Izzy warmly returns another smile and embraces Phineas in a comforting hug.

 

Of course, he replies and smiles, enjoying their embrace together.

 


Twenty minutes later, I hear a soft knock on my door. “Hello? Dr. Chen?” Phineas calls, wondering if I’m still in the office.

 

“Ah, Phineas. I’ve been expecting you. Come on in!” I reassure him with a large grin across my face.

 

He gently shuts the door behind him, slowly takes off his backpack hanging off his shoulder, places it on a chair, and pulls up the one next to it.

 

“What seems to be bothering you today, son?” I start slowly.

 

“Well, sir…You mind if I call you sir?” he beams the question back at me, only glancing up for a few short seconds.

 

“You can call me ‘sir’, Josh, it doesn’t matter Phineas,” I gently reply with another smile.

 

“Well Josh,” this time saying my name emphatically, “I’ve been feeling down lately” eyes lowered to his cupped hands placed between his jeans.

 

“Is it the girlfriend?” I ask curiously.

 

“No sir,” he nods his triangle-shaped head sadly.

 

“Is it Candace?”

 

Again, another ‘no.’

 

“She’s gone off to college now, in search of Jeremy,” he softly replies.

 

“Does it feel different or awkward now that she’s not busting you and Ferb all the time?” I ask professionally.

 

“Yes, but she’s much more mature now, and has learned to take responsibility for herself,” Phineas spontaneously says with a light grin.

Peace between Phineas and Candace (animated) by jaycasey © deviantART

Peace between Phineas and Candace (animated) by jaycasey © deviantART

 

“And what about your pet platypus Perry? Still see him around at home?”

 

“Well yes, except when he runs off in the middle of the day. Though Ferb and I always love having him around,” this time starting to chuckle at the comforting image he now conjures up in his head.

Perry Misses Phineas and Ferb (animated) by jaycasey © deviantART

Meanwhile… | Perry Misses Phineas and Ferb (animated) by jaycasey © deviantART

 

“And what of your stepbrother Ferb?” I continue asking, seeing if there’s a clue I can begin to pick up in the conversation.

 

“He’s the man!” comes Phineas’ first reply, followed by, “He’s such a great bro to have” and smiles to himself again, eyes gradually lighting up at the thought of his brother.

 

Now I think I’m getting somewhere! I scream with utter delight in my head, leaning gently over to Phineas from the other side of the desk.

 

“I’ll bet,” I say, rubbing him gently on the shoulder. “Anything else you have to say about him?”

 

“Well…” Phineas hesitates and freezes for a few short seconds.

 

“I love him. And not just in the normal brotherly way either” he eventually confesses, as if blurting out something so harsh and vindictive, it eats away at the very essence of his soul.

 

“I can tell” I beam a look back at him. “Judging from your shyness and that look you have that you’re literally sick to your stomach, I can tell,” I finish my sentence and lean back into my comfortable lumbar chair.

 

“You see, I was experiencing the very feelings you are feeling right now at your age. It was all very confusing. I often just kept my distance from a lot of people” I reassure him.

 

“But when did you finally… you know?” hesitating to ask.

 

“When I was 20 and in college,” I slowly answer, filling in his question. “My parents didn’t take it very well at first, even though they know the presence of LGBT people in our society.”

 

“Right,” Phineas gently nods, allowing me to proceed.

 

“My confession was just as painful as yours, Phineas. To admit with all my heart and soul that I’m attracted to both men and women. But I indeed still do… and am actually still very single,” I humorously toss the joke at him.

 

Phineas giggles, staring right back at me in the eyes, with one of the softest expressions I have ever seen emanate from the face of a teenager his age. He was being gravely honest, I could tell.

 

“So any suggestions you have for me, Doc?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know…” I slyly say twirling my pen at the moment. “Why don’t I let your brother have a say in this?”

 

Gesturing a hand towards the door, a now tall and dark green-haired Ferb walks into the room.

 

“Ferb? You invited Ferb to my counseling session?!” Phineas almost exclaims in a surprised frenzy.

 

“But of course, my dear boy. I do enjoy group sessions after all!” I humorously chuckle again, holding my hands close to my face.

 

“You want me to fill in on what’s going on Doc?” Ferb now asks in that suave British accent of his.

 

“Yes, please Ferb” I gesture towards him and Phineas, now taking a seat next to his stepbrother.

 

With a slow yet equally painful sigh, Ferb makes his remarks. “Phineas, I’ve known for several months now. The way you’d look at me in the eye the same way you’d look at Isabella, always glowing, always intelligent…always vibrant. Remember when we held hands in that Tower we constructed many summers ago?”

 

Ferb pauses to let Phineas give an agreeable nod at him.

 

“Even in those few short seconds, I knew there was something special about youthe way we’d stare into each other’s eyes and see the whole world living in them.”

 

From "Escape from Phineas Tower"

From “Escape from Phineas Tower”

“Yes,” Phineas bashfully replies, looking away from the two of us in an effort to hide his blushing red cheeks.

 

“Phineas, Dr. Chen invited me here this afternoon to inform me that everything’s gonna be okay. I’m not gonna hate you if you have feelings for me. Promise,” he finishes placing a hand on Phineas’ shoulder.

 

Spontaneously, upon meeting Ferb’s lustrous eyes, he lunges at Ferb in a tight embrace, again trying not to cry.

 

Thank you bro. That is what I’ve always wanted to hear you say,” he now mumbles through Ferb’s coat.

 

Ferb calms him by stroking his head and saying, “I love you too Phin. Never forget that” and gently kisses his bright maroon hair.

 

Through the stream of tears, Phineas goes in for a deep passionate kiss with his stepbrother, eyes sealed shut to amplify the sensation of the kiss, his cheeks still ever glowing as red as his hair.

 

It was certainly a sight to watch, as my heart melted inside, seeing them so in tune with each other all the time. I was quite overjoyed.

 

Eventually breaking away, both of their faces now showed a much more solemn and soothed tone, as they would smile back at me and say in unison, “We’re very happy together Doc.”  🙂

 

I can certainly see that,” I again chuckle in an uproar, proud for these two boys. They’re the sons I’ve never had, but I am still very assured they are both able to see me as an encouraging and loving father figure.

 

As they slowly rise to grab their belongings, now hands interlaced with each other, they bid me farewell, Ferb saluting with two fingers in a gentleman’s manner, and Phineas waving me, the proud American he is.

 

I tightly embrace them and kiss them both on their heads as they proceed to stroll out the door, hand in hand for a long time to come.

 


The next Spring, Izzy spots the brothers in the hallway.

 

“So Phineas, you heading on over to the GSA meeting in a little bit?” smiling at him.

 

“Yes! How about you Izzy?”

 

“Definitely!” as both she and Ferb take Phineas’ hands, one conveniently for each, laughing and giggling all the way there.

PnF Threesome (RECOLOR) bysweetcandyteardrop © deviantART

PnF Threesome (RECOLOR) by sweetcandyteardrop © deviantART

 


Background: I have decided to not only incorporate myself into the world where Phineas and Ferb live in this time as their high school psychologist, being that I am a long-time fan since the premiere of the show, and now DEVOTEE as well. In addition, to share part of my most recent coming out experience as being openly bisexual, as I realize the P&F fandom is unfortunately split along Phinbella and Phinerb lines.

 

‘Why not have Phineas express his bisexuality the way I would intend him to, and in a way that could potentially bring together both pairings in one place?’ I would often ask myself. That’s when this story came to mind just now, and it is beautiful. ❤

 

Inspirations/Closing Acknowledgements: The ending where the brothers hold hands is inspired by this scene from The Closet:


 

Furthermore, Isabella is a heterosexual LGBT ally in the very last scene, inspired by an extremely awesome and loving Mexican girl friend and UC Riverside classmate of mine in real life, Dulce R. Gomez.  YOU GO GIRL! CHEERS! 😀


Relive Another Historic Moment RIGHT HERE:

 

Ellen DeGeneres, you are such an inspiration to me! I ❤ YOU ALWAYS!

Aiming for Inclusion: Loving Others as an Openly Bi Christian

 

IN HIGH SCHOOL, as many other young adolescent teens are during this time, I began to feel an emotional admiration for classmates and friends of both genders—males and females alike. My freshman year, I met a boy whom I only once briefly met in the 7th grade during a small group therapy counseling session with our guidance counselor. You can imagine the look on his face as I glanced over at him for the very first time—small beady eyes, a warm, gentle grin and sunny disposition. I was somehow entranced, but dared not say anything except for a simple “Hi” and a gentle wave of the hand. When we finally briefly re-connected in high school, I nearly fell in love with him—or so I naively thought. Fast forward ahead many years into the near future. After many long hiatuses of not communicating back and forth online ever since Tim and his mom moved out to Texas in February 2008, one May evening one year ago, I decided to muster up the strength to tell him the truth about how I really felt about him all this time, and how much I’ve missed him so. “Tim, I love you. I really do.”

Continue reading

Tackling Islamophobia and Learning to Love and Respect Thy Neighbors in a Post-9/11 World: 12th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars — but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war — but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacks — but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day — and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack. [1]

 

~ Former President George W. Bush in his Address to the Joint Session of the 107th Congress (September 20, 2001)

 

CONTRARY TO THE VIEWS expressed by the mainstream media, the notion of Islamophobia—the irrational fear of the beliefs and institutions of the Muslim faith—did not first enter the modern American psyche on September 11, 2001. Rather, it occurred decades before my time, back in the late ’70s and early ’80s when Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office.

 

Former President George W. Bush’s now famous declaration of ‘a war on terror’ is in fact a continuation of his father’s legacy, Mr. [George] Herbert Walker Bush and Mr. Reagan respectively before him, not an initiation, despite what my current generation of Millennials may presume to think.

 

Three years ago, within weeks of saying goodbye to my fellow graduating upper classmen of the Class of 2010, I struck up a conversation with one of my few close Muslim friends Adam S. one afternoon. Initially sharing my profoundly educated knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of his own faith with him, I somehow eventually felt emotionally provoked to painfully, but honestly scream the statement, “Nevertheless, I still believe that Muslims are terrorists.”

 

I could observe the deep remorse and pain in his face as I declared it. As I would later solemnly apologize, I restated that my motive was not to label every Muslim person walking around as a terrorist, as clearly that would be irrational, not to mention, unethical.

 

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them….

 

Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.[2]

 

Former President George W. Bush couldn’t have said it more clear-cut or more precise, as his words still ring true nearly a decade after the attacks. Nevertheless, despite his best-suited intentions, we still have yet to fully recover from the damage left behind in a post-war Iraq and Afghanistan, and there are still questions that are left to be answered. Most importantly, if and when, the nations of the Middle East, and the people living there can ever accept the notion of executing democratic principles, not in the names of liberty, freedom or equality, but swiftly with mercy and grace.

 

In recent years, ideological Islamophobia has resurged with the controversy of constructing Park51 two blocks from Ground Zero in New York[3] and Pastor Terry Jones purposely burning a copy of the Koran two years ago at his church in Gainesville, Florida.[4]

 

As a fellow Christian, I again would like to apologize to the worldwide Muslim community if there are people among us who use hate and fear to evangelize our beliefs on the rest of the world.

 

The Great Commission

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” Amen.

~ Matthew 28:16 – 20 (NKJV)


newsweek13f_3If we are indeed human, wouldn’t we also share the same resentment and hurt if other rogue parties were to target and ransack our churches, desecrate our icons of Christ and the Cross, and shred our Bibles? As history proves to humanity repeatedly, violence can only beget violence, no matter what one’s faith.

 

Which evidently, brings me to Syria…

 


Although President Obama has identified Tuesday night President Bashar al-Assad’s government in the involvement and usage of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, he also agrees not to send troops to intervene in Syria:

 

First, many of you have asked, won’t this put us on a slippery slope to another war? One man wrote to me that we are “still recovering from our involvement in Iraq.” A veteran put it more bluntly: “This nation is sick and tired of war.”

 

My answer is simple: I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo. This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective: deterring the use of chemical weapons, and degrading Assad’s capabilities.[5]

 

His overall message resonates with me, and echoes a similar overtone several of my other politically inclined friends on Facebook have recently been discussing in the last few weeks regarding Assad’s Syria:

 

Whatever we do over there, I believe it’s just going to fuel the fire and make matters more complicated. Whenever we drop bombs, people get killed – guilty and innocent both. This fuels the fire of the Muslim’s already present hatred of us and it will do it until the end of time. We can’t bribe real friends. And we can’t intimidate them to be our friends by bombing who we deem as “bad guys.”

We’ve spent hundreds of billions, if not more, in bombing middle-east “bad guys” the past decade, and lost some 8,500 Americans. Does the US really need to keep bankrupting itself and putting lives and weapons on the line in yet another country? When will moral policing end?

We went into Iraq, partially under the pretense of helping the people Saddam used chemical weapons against. And what a disaster going into Iraq has been. And if we go into Syria, even with just drones (as if that’s no big thing), I still think we will end up with a bigger mess of which we may have to help clean-up.

And we haven’t even talked about who we’re helping by going after Assad: Al-Nusra, the al Qaeda wing in Syria.

I think the Founders, as the saying goes, are rolling over in their graves at the sight of how many countries our government is involved in.[6]

~ Chris Wright, expressing his opinions on the possibility of American military intervention in Syria

 

Going off Chris’ points directly here, first of all, I agree with everything he writes. As I voice my thoughts in a different Facebook comment thread with another fellow Mormon, Josh Roundy, I make a firm statement that coincidentally enough, reiterates the same points Chris outlines above:

 

I am not saying don’t help or support the children of Syria. We should in theory, help all, refugee and rebel alike. But I personally find it very emotionally and psychologically unsettling when one regime dominates the mainstream voice in the political and social discourse, as in the case of said Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.[7]

 

As for the actual children of Syria, here is the first of a series of clips I have painstakingly nitpicked from browsing and watching Youtube news on the conflict for months now.

 

 

This next one documents wounds two boys have sustained from a shelling in a neighborhood in Homs, dated April 2012:

 

Homs Innocent children were injured by Assad’s violent shelling on the area. 4-4-2012

 

 *Contains some graphic/bloody imagery. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

 


I’ll be honest here folks. I trembled and even wanted to cry as I glanced at the doctors removing the first boy’s clothes and examining his wounds as he cries aloud in fear, and tears. My heart cannot ever properly express the sorrow I feel tremendously every time I watch videos of this content and nature, especially when there’s children involved.

 

To help tell the story of one family siding with the Free Syrian Army rebels in the bustling city of Aleppo, and one boy’s experience of wanting to go to school to earn his education despite living in a war zone, here is Ibrahim’s War courtesy of Journeyman Pictures.

 

Trust me, this film will move you in ways you couldn’t imagine of being moved:

 

 


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Church of St. Tekla at Maaloula by DWinton © Flickr

As for the Christians of Syria, many of us are now learning that rebel forces are attempting to seize total control of the small mountainous community of Ma’loula (Maaloula).[8]


The local residents seem to gravely fear this predicament because it could inevitably give the rebels more legroom towards not only riling the authority of Assad’s regime, but also sparking further clashing of ideologies and religions in the process. Surprisingly, both Muslims and Christians previously living in the town, who are now fleeing the area due to the nature of the attacks, collectively agree that they have lived together side by side in mutual peace for years.[9]

 

Ma’loula is also home to one of the most well preserved sanctuaries of the modern-day variant of Aramaic, presumably to be the tongue of the historic Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.

 

 

And as the documentary describes, director Mel Gibson—who is indeed a devout Roman Catholic and directed the now worldwide sensation The Passion of the Christ—even took some civil and historic liberties of helping to carefully reconstruct the form of ancient Aramaic that Jesus and his followers spoke in his heyday, as accurately as possible.

 

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This ensures that there are people who are currently not only proactively determined in trying to save an essential Biblical language from the near brink of extinction. It ensures that history can be rediscovered, relived, and continue to live on in the present day for the world’s nearly 3.6 – 3.8 billion adherents of the major Abrahamic faiths, all of which, coincidentally, have their origins in the Middle East.[10]

 


But regardless of our faith or our politics, 9/11 isn’t just a day when our country was attacked by Muslim extremists. It isn’t a day to start pointing the finger of hypocrisy and shame at our neighbors and condemn them as terrorists.

 

9/11 was, and is a day when religion and politics simultaneously intertwined and crossed paths once more, as a rallying wake-up call for all of us to reconsider how we approach sensitive topics surrounding our everyday religious confrontations, and the benefits and dangers of exploring both fundamentalism and liberal theologies and theocracies alike.

 

And remember: Muslims can be your friends too.


“O son of Adam, it is better for you if you spend your surplus (wealth), but if you withhold it, it is evil for you. There is (however) no reproach for you (if you withhold means necessary) for a living. And begin (charity) with your dependants; and the upper hand is better than the lower hand.” [11]


~ The Prophet Muhammad, Muslim hadith


*Original thanks to my good friend Marwan Mogaddedi for posting this verse on his Facebook three weeks ago.

 

 

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you…”

 

~ Jesus of Nazareth, an excerpt from The Sermon on the Plain, Luke 6:27 – 31 (NASB)

 

memorial-setembro-nGod bless everyone and Ahlan wa Sahlan my friends. #NeverForget 😀


[11] http://www.khilafah.com/index.php/component/content/article/76-daily-hadith/6436-daily-hadith


For Further Viewing and Thinking:

Christians in the Middle East



A Muslim Response in the Wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings:

Carpe Diem-ing With Phineas and Ferb!

Phineas: I know what we’re gonna do today,
Though it might sound just a bit cliché.
We can build a rollercoaster, but this time with songs and dancing!
‘Cause when we’re back in school come next September,
And they ask us, we can both remember
Every cool and clever thing we did all summer long, and glancing
Back we’re gonna be so glad that we
Didn’t sit all day and watch TV,
I don’t think anyone can disagree
The world is possibilities
And that’s what makes me say:
Phineas and Chorus: Hey Ferb!

Phineas: Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today
Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today
Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today!…

Phineas and Chorus: Hey Ferb!
Background singers: Boredom is something up with which I will not put

Phineas: Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today
Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today
Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today!…
Phineas and Chorus: Hey Ferb!

~ Hey Ferb performed by Phineas Flynn (Vincent Martella) in the special Rollercoaster: The Musical

HAPPY SUMMER folks, or as one of TV’s now most beloved icons Phineas and his half-stepbrother Ferb might say, “Today’s gonna be the best day ever!” in the catchy voice of 20-year-old actor Vincent Martella himself! Coincidentally, he is only two months and ten days older than me. 🙂



Witty and whimsical catchphrases aside though, if any of you beloved readers are as old as I am—or possibly even older—and can fondly recall a time when TV networks premiered shows like Spongebob Squarepants, Rugrats, the Fairly Oddparents, Danny Phantom, and Kim Possible—just to name a few—I am sad to announce that most of those late ’90s through early 2000s shows have long been off the air, with the exception of Spongebob and the Fairly Oddparents. Even Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Suite Life on Deck, previously shown on the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel networks respectively not too long ago are now also history.

A momentary sad ending for the ’90s kids, I know, but fear not!

We have cartoon animators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh to thank for going forward with the concept of Phineas and Ferb for over 16 years until Disney Channel finally has helped to spring the cartoon into a worldwide sensation.[1]

And before I even get into my long and windy critique of the show itself, I believe it is best to pay tribute to Povenmire and Marsh’s duo efforts for persevering with an idea like this for so long, don’t you think?

DP: I was at the Wild Thyme restaurant in South Pasadena. They have butcher paper over the tables and crayons for you to draw with, and I drew a triangle-headed kid. I tore that piece off and told my wife, “This is the show I’m going to sell.” I called Swampy that night and said, “Okay, I’ve got Phineas.” That drawing is framed in my office, complete with coffee stains.

 JM: All the other characters grew out of that.

~ An interview excerpt from From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb (2008)[2]

Who knew that one drawing of the now ever famous triangle-shape headed kid would become a role model for fans everywhere, EVEN IF HE IS A CARICATURE?

DBB8390F-A85B-4E5A-B669-86E657156BA9


PnF___Phineas_Flynn_by_sam_ely_ember

PnF – Phineas Flynn by sam-ely-ember © deviantART.com


I cannot even begin to imagine what Dan and Swampy had in mind after all these years trying to pitch Phineas Flynn to every major TV station, only to be turned down time after time after time again.

“We were sort of thrown together in a room as a writing team on ‘Rocko’s Modern Life,’” said Povenmire.  Adds Marsh, “I think the actual reason for it was I tend to story board things very loose and dirty, and Dan tends to be clean and tight, so they thought, if they put us together there would be a happy medium somewhere.  There wasn’t, but we liked working together.”

Marsh and Povenmire developed a concept following two young boys: Phineas (based on Phineas T. Fogg from “Around the World in 80 Days”) and Ferb (based on a set builder friend who “owns more tools than anyone we know”) so they could have an outlet where they could continue working together.

Their friendship endured but their professional collaboration went on hiatus during the 16 years that passed before “Phineas and Ferb” was optioned.

“Swampy actually moved to England for six years and I still had our little pitch packet that every once and a while I’d dust off and show,” said Povenmire.  “Disney, who said no to us the first time, called out of the blue wanting to option ‘Phineas and Ferb.’  I called up Swampy in England and I said ‘If we get to do this show, are you going to come back and work with me?’ and he said ‘Yes, absolutely.  That’s the sound of me packing.'”

Aside from a few color changes and simplifications, “Phineas and Ferb” remained true to the original pitch.  Marsh and Povenmire based the show’s concept on the freedom, creativity and sense of exploration they experienced in their youth.

“We grew up in a time when there was minimal TV and no video games,” said Marsh.  “We spent all our time doing projects: building, constructing, finding and modifying things.”  Added Povenmire, ” We wanted to do a show that celebrated a kid’s imagination, ‘Phineas and Ferb’ are uninhibited by the reality of not being able to do whatever they imagine.”

 ~ An interview excerpt from Phineas and Ferb: Music, Mischief, And The Endless Summer Vacation (2009)[3]

But through their IMAGINATION (yes, ironically, a Spongebob reference) and dedication, this dynamic duo has still been able to pull off their dreams, and thus, Phineas and Ferb are currently two of the world’s most sought-after and envied brothers in all of modern animation history, in this critic’s most honest opinion.


So why are Phineas and Ferb so awesome to watch and to get inspiration from? I thought you’d never ask.

First off, we have a modern example of the American blended family:

In regards to exploring a step brother relationship, Povenmire said, “Swampy grew up with a big blended family.  Outside of the ‘Brady Bunch,’ he never really saw a family like his represented on TV.  If you’re a child from that kind of a family and you never see it portrayed in the media, it makes you feel a bit like an outsider.  So we wanted to put that aspect in our show.”[4]

Not many sitcoms, television dramas, and soap operas can lay a claim to fame today outside of the Brady Bunch—and perhaps Full House and Family Matters—with the prominent inclusion of a blended family, but there’s another reason why P&F is now successfully reviving a once disillusioned and stereotypically withdrawn and cynical demographic.

Simply put in the most cliché terms possible, it’s got something for everyone.

“The truth is, we make this cartoon for ourselves,” said Marsh.  “We don’t make it for children; we just don’t exclude them, which is something that John Lassister once said.  When you get to writing the jokes and finalizing the content, you just want to make sure you don’t do anything that’s going to make you cringe as a parent or that’s going to alienate the younger viewers.”[5]

Over the last five years since starting out as a freshman in high school, I’ve noticed the creators’, animators’, and producers’ attempts to allude to famous dramatic and literary references both past and present in almost every episode I have watched to this very day.

A well-known example being the song Phineas sings in the opening to Rollercoaster: The Musical, as shown:

(See if you can spot all the allusions!) 😀


Example number two would probably be a song dedicated to Isabella Garcia-Shapiro’s—Phineas and Ferb’s adjacent next door neighbor and long-time secret lover of Phineas—Mexican Jewish roots, cleverly titled Oy Vey!:


And speaking of Isabella’s Jewishness (and the Flynn-Fletcher’s supposed opposing Christian faith), I just love their Christmas Vacation alternate theme song!




In the Summer Belongs to You special, they’ve even included a number for Baljeet and his family. But why no Chinese references, besides brief scenes featured in that said episode and in Aglet? (Sorry, just a bit irritable us Chinese don’t get enough worthy mention to have a song dedicated for us.) 😛



Overall, Phineas and Ferb is one of the best shows I can absolutely trust my future kids and I to grow up watching and reminiscing over and over and over again.

PROS: In an ever-increasing societal awareness to recognize cultural and religious diversity, the show’s creators and producers possess a keen sense of balance of trying to be as inclusive as possible, although they may always have some empty patches left to mend. Then again, I don’t completely blame Swampy and Dan for not giving it a go and seeing what happens. Cause that right there friends, lies the key to INNOVATION! 😀

Secondly, the ongoing love-hate relationship between Dr. D and Perry the Platypus is always humorously amusing to experience when you’re taking a breezer and need something to re-divert your attention to.

*Quick side-note before you hit that play button down below: I’ve been conjuring up a similar concept of this fight scene since like 3rd grade—the parts when Doof and Perry kick each other with their webbed feet and when Doof unsuccessfully makes an attempt at lunging at Perry—but I’m glad somebody else indirectly thinks like me.


CONS: I wish Isabella would have kissed Phineas sooner in the series—and then to have his memory wiped by Carl in the 2nd Dimension movie—gosh, that tanks!

I wish Jeremy would just go out with Candace already…or that they date when they’re both of college age…

Can Perry and Doof—and for the record, Major Monogram and the OWCA intern Carl—ever get along?

Will Buford ever soften up? And not just to Baljeet, but to everyone else he frequently interacts with?

Will Candace ever mature to a point where she will stop busting her brothers? (In the current time, not 20 years in the future?)

These are only a few of the questions that have run through this crazy head of mine as the series endlessly continues to progress…

All idiosyncrasies aside, however, I love P&F! And even more so now because they incorporate the Latin phrase carpe diem, or “seize the day” into their overall theme, alerting viewers that every day is a gift and should be seized to its fullest opportunity, and a reminder to help make the world a better place to be in.

Well done Phineas and Ferb. Well done.

You have my utmost respects. 🙂


ditch_the_step_part_____by_kicsterash-d35tccj

Ditch the Step part…. by KicsterAsh © deviantART.com

Oh, and one more thing: I’ve come to realize the two split halves of my personality are very much aligned with Phineas and Ferb. According to Myers-Briggs typology, I’m an ENFP.

I’m naturally extraverted, optimistic and looking outward at all the possibilities that life has to offer—and at times, I can come across as naive and always the guy with his head in the clouds, much like young Phineas. My introverted self though is much like Ferb—quiet, calm, calculating and caring.

Each person on this planet needs both their Phineas and Ferb halves to be fully human, and that is my most inner belief. 🙂

Coming Out of the Closet as a REAFFIRMED Progressive Christian Ally (Part 2)

When my first boyfriend broke up with me, I felt alone. I felt that I was unworthy of him, I was unworthy of my family and my church, and most depressingly, I felt unworthy of God. Because I felt as if I was an abomination to God, I attempted suicide multiple times.

One night after contemplating suicide heavily, I shouted out to God, “Why did you put this in me if you’re just going to hate me for it?”  The reply brought tears to my eyes – “I love you.”

~ Aaron Crowley, an excerpt from There is NOH8 in Jesus (November 21, 2012)

The first time I ever heard the words “gay” and “homo” in public was during my freshmen and sophomore years of high school. May 2008 was the first time I had heard of the term “gay marriage”, when a close upper classman of mine—now a soon-to-be first-year grad school student in the fall at UC Berkeley—addressed in an exclusive e-mail on behalf of Youth Alive, my high school’s Christian organization, on how he feels about the gay debate:

Are Christians against gays?

You’ve probably heard this question or you might’ve asked yourselves that also as you watch different protests on TV. We need to clarify the term “gays.” The concept of homosexuality vs. homosexuals. The Bible clearly says that homosexuality is a sin (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:27); it wasn’t God’s original intent from creation. That’s the basic definition of any sin, not part of God’s original plan.

Is God against homosexuality? Yes.

But is God against homosexuals? No.

~ Eric C., an excerpt from Memory Verse: Week 5/19/08—Homosexuality Part 1 (2008)

At the time, I strongly agreed with everything Eric wrote about in his e-mails on homosexuality and homosexual behavior being a dreadful sin, and something that Almighty God would send a person to a fiery Hell for.


JUNE 27th UPDATE: Quick note on my statements above over Eric’s views. After a brief misunderstanding, he wrote me not too long after I originally posted this column online, stating that he is NOT anti-homosexual orientation, and never will be. The views I have expressed are solely my initial thoughts upon first reading his e-mail on the subject over five years ago. I further apologize on both of our behalves if any misrepresentations and misconceptions seem to currently be directed towards the gay and lesbian crowd.

As a person continuously seeking to reform and re-evaluate his previous views on homosexuals and queer culture, I am now here to indiscriminately and unconditionally love homosexuals just as the people all of you are—regardless of whatever church minister or congregation inexplicably has been told and has held against you, and regardless of how they have distorted and misconstrued Christ’s authentic command to “love your enemies and pray for those who have persecuted you.”

A dancer hugs a man in the crowd during the gay-pride themed Capital Pride Parade in Washington

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)


Now in retrospect, however, I realize how much of a blind fool I was when I was playing the hypocritical Christian card the entire time. On the outside, I was publicly active in taking a hostile anti-homosexual stance, calling out friends and classmates who wanted to vote No on Proposition 8, since I was—and still am—raised to literally believe in the sanctity of one man and one woman in holy, harmonious matrimony. Until I realized these so-called “conservative” Christian leaders were not leading very sacred and harmonious lives at all.

That idealism began to crack and shatter during my junior and senior years onwards.

After vowing to leave that high school club, and all my attachments and associations with it behind, I again was left feeling excluded and ostracized from both family and peers whom I thought were douches for not accepting me as a flawed person—with all these thoughts running through his head, let alone mention his poor work ethic.[1]

Back into my closet of emotional insecurity I went. A closet I psychologically built myself in, so that I didn’t have to face the experience of going through continuous rejection time and time again.

And then something happened…

Fast forward to May and June 2011, towards the end of my senior year. After initially attending one last Youth Alive meeting on a Monday around lunchtime, I eventually left again, shaking my head angrily and thinking, “No. I’ve had enough of this bullcrap.”

223787_10150285633482340_5666882_n

Andrew Kang and I, August 2011

What I didn’t care to realize the moment I quietly stormed out was that a friend had caught me leaving, and within mere moments, he came to console me. “What’s the matter Josh? What’s going on?” I initially was too angry to say how I really felt on the inside, but I gradually released some steam. “I’ve had enough Andrew. I’ve had enough of this Youth Alive shindig! I want out! I’m done!” I wanted to further scream, “I’m through with God” as well, but did not plan to take the matter too far.

Fortunately, Andrew’s been more than sympathetic to hearing about my conflicting spiritual frustrations. He’s been UNDERSTANDING, and to this day, I cannot imagine not having a more sincere and caring friend than him, as a straight bro. 🙂


As for leaving behind this “conservative” brand of Christianity I grew up submissively obeying and adhering to through the end of my high school years, I now honestly view the nuances of meanings behind the Passion story and the significance of the Cross in a new Progressive kind of light. One where all are loved unconditionally by God, and where He only sees the broken sinner in need of healing and reconciliation, not the weight of unbearable sin crushing the sinner.

Progressive Christianity is an approach to the Christian faith that is influenced by post-liberalism and postmodernism and:

  • Proclaims Jesus of Nazareth as Christ, Savior, and Lord;
  • Emphasizes the Way and teachings of Jesus, not merely His person;
  • Emphasizes God’s immanence not merely God’s transcendence;
  • Leans toward pantheism rather than supernatural theism;
  • Emphasizes salvation here and now instead of primarily in heaven later;
  • Emphasizes being saved for robust, abundant/eternal life over being saved from hell;
  • Emphasizes the social/communal aspects of salvation instead of merely the personal;
  • Stresses social justice as integral to Christian discipleship;
  • Takes the Bible seriously but not necessarily literally, embracing a more interpretive, metaphorical understanding;
  • Emphasizes orthopraxy instead of orthodoxy (right actions over right beliefs);
  • Embraces reason as well as paradox and mystery — instead of blind allegiance to rigid doctrines and dogmas;
  • Does not consider homosexuality to be sinful;
  • Does not claim that Christianity is the only valid or viable way to connect to God (is non-exclusive).[2]

Upon a detailed and painstaking scholarly personal investigation of my own now in college, I largely agree with most of these points—except for perhaps the supernatural theism one.

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Moreover, to clarify my now redefining stance on the multi-layered “homosexuality is a sin” argument, I will only say this: He [God] may judge your sins, but He does not judge your sexual orientation, and we need to keep these two separate from now on, socially and theologically. Period.

And for all the conservatively-minded homophobes out there, while I can understand your reasons for hating gays—as I was once as well—in all serious honesty, you’re missing out on some great eye-opening opportunities to witness to and to get to know several of them as the awesome people they are BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE.  And yes, even their faults and sins.

Recently, I sat in my adult Sunday School class while my pastor spoke about grace within the United Methodist tradition. She described how, in the midst of the grace that is always present for all of us, we often find ourselves in profound moments of justifying grace—moments of affirmation when we recognize that we, too, are loved. We, too, are welcomed.  We, too, are forgiven.

For me, my coming out as an LGBT ally has been inextricably intertwined with my experience of justifying grace.  

The irony of my situation is not lost on me. While my coming out as an ally has been so very humbling and faith-affirming, I know that for many, the experience of coming out is anything but. Most of all, I know this has to change.

This is why I feel so passionately about continuing to push myself to speak up. Even when it is uncomfortable. Even when I have doubts. Even when I’m sharing not necessarily with like-minded members of the faith, but with that same Facebook community which initially brought me to tears.

Above all else, I believe that this message and this experience of grace is for all.

And I want to help proclaim this Christian message.

Even me? Yes. And even you as well.

~ Holli Long, an excerpt from Experiencing Grace: My Journey To Becoming An Ally  (June 17, 2013)

As an additional side note worthy of mentioning, I now also believe 17-year-old Graeme Taylor from Ann Arbor, Michigan is TRULY AN INSPIRATION, not only for standing up for a teacher who was suspended, but perhaps even more so for coming out of the closet (quite literally) and being honest, open and accepting of himself that he’s gay.

Breaking Down the Gay-Straight Duality: Taking a Moderate Stance on Gay Rights

Jesus calls us to have empathy, compassion and an open heart for all human beings. Not just people who follow Him. Not just Christians. Not just believers. Not just straight people. BUT EVERYONE. And this includes gay people. They are your neighbors, too. So if we are to follow what Jesus is asking of us, we MUST demand that gay people have the right to marry. Why? Because to NOT do so would not be loving them as we love ourselves. And that would make us hypocrites pretending to love Jesus.

~ Mastin Kapp, an excerpt from Why Jesus Loves LGBT People and Gay Marriage Doesn’t Exist (July 31, 2012)

IT ALL STARTED WITH A SIMPLE HI AND A HANDSHAKE.

“Hi I’m Josh.”

“Hey I’m Trevor. Nice to meet you.”

Somehow, in a matter of less than two minutes, I mustered up the courage to ask the dire question, “Hey, are you gay?”

A whirlpool of mixed emotions and sweat swirled inside my head and all over my body as I tried to find those four simple words. Intellectually, it’s one of the world’s most easiest questions to ask someone, but in a culture where gays are still being stigmatized and dehumanized as second-class citizens, Trevor was the first gay man I had ever met in person—and by sheer coincidence too.

The day was Monday, September 24, 2012, the time about 12:50 in the afternoon. While touring various booths at my community college’s Transfer Fair event last Fall and after talking to other admissions counselors about their programs, I approached one of the last booths I did not visit yet for the day.

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Alex Randolph and Trevor Nguyen © Rink Foto

Sporting a short, spiky haircut, big eyes, and awesome shiny teeth, and donning a UC Berkeley alumni T-shirt, Trevor reaches out a hand as I proceed to shake it and at first shakily state my name. Noticing the ring on his finger and his slightly falsetto voice, curiosity crept into my mind. Should I come out and ask if he’s gay? What if he’s offended? And what about all those people watching me, how will they react to my question? What if I send the wrong message here and other people start assuming I’m gay?

Unabashedly, Trevor just smiles with an enormous grin on his face and says, “Yeah I am! Are you LGBT too?” The question I expected popping out of the back of my head but dared not want to answer… “No, no, no I’m not,” I exclaim with the sweat already emerging from pores on the back of my neck and body. “I was just curious if you were, that was all.”

Initially, I was hoping to get a photo with Trevor but we ran out of time and he told me he had to go, but in the few short minutes that we did get the chance to chat, he warmly told me he went to this same community college as well and later transferred up to Berkeley, where, in the summer of 2005, met his boyfriend Alex Randolph.

I specialize in business development for local businesses and start-ups, with experiences in business law and real estate. I provide both strategic legal and financial analyses to corporate transactions, business projects, and working groups.

My proudest achievement thus far is to have worked with three successful start-ups in numerous capacities as counsel, manager, or consultant. In all projects, I paint a big picture with fine strokes of small details.

In my spare time, I greatly enjoy networking and being proactive in community organizations providing social services and promoting diversity. I have served and held leadership positions on various community non-profit groups, and continue looking for ways to contribute to my communities. I seek to open doors — and then hold them open for others as well.

Along with my partner Alex Randolph, we now call San Francisco home and seek to help build San Francisco as a beautiful and inclusive place for all.

~ An excerpt from Trevor Nguyen’s Summary on his LinkedIn profile

Since meeting Trevor back in September, I have been personally re-evaluating my views and stances on gay rights in the early 21st century and the LGBT community in general.

In the months that followed, as headlines featured personal scarring stories about gay teens facing constant bullying and death threats appeared, I initially had no comments on what to say or how to act regarding these accounts. Nevertheless, as I later found stories on the pro-gay side of this spectrum, let me be honest: my first reaction was of praise rather than of immediate disgust.

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On Tuesday, demonstrators gathered in 75 French cities to oppose the bill which would allow gay marriage and adoption. The picture was shot during the rally in the city of Marseille and as the two women are seen kissing in the forefront, faces of shocked protesters can be seen in the background.

Interviewed by French gay magazine Têtu the two young women explained they are both straight, but wanted to draw attention to the issue with a pure and simple gesture of solidarity.

The comments on the Facebook page of HuffPost France offer some insight into why the picture went viral.

“To respond to all those homophobes with a gesture of love. Nothing is more beautiful!” a reader wrote.

“Love is stronger than hate,” stated another user.

Romain Pigenel, responsible for the Internet division of the presidential palace, also analysed the success of the photos on his blog:

“This snapshot brings out a simple and efficient mechanism: the one of the opposition between reason and emotion, between the power of the image and the complexity of the slogan. The protesters are holding signs and screaming claims that cannot exist, to make sense, in the instantaneity of the photograph.”

Gérard Julien, the photographer, explains on the AFP blog, “This picture, it’s like the story of the biter bit, a reversal of symbolism without their knowing it. Everyone has been surprised by this shot. The protesters were in shock!”

~ An excerpt from Two Women Kiss In Front Of Anti-Gay Protests In Marseille, France (October 25, 2012)

And with each passing day, the number of stories seem to exponentially multiply.

Proclaiming the Gay Good News on Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2013)

Gay Man Confronts Homophobic Subway Preacher, Train Crowd Applauds (VIDEO) (February 21, 2013)

Former GOP state senator: No “evil force” is trying to destroy marriage (March 11, 2013)

Rob Portman Reverses Gay Marriage Stance After Son Comes Out (March 15, 2013)

Dad’s Note To Gay Son About Coming Out Might Make You Cry (PHOTO) (March 17, 2013)

Westboro Equality House: Aaron Jackson Paints Rainbow Home Across From Anti-Gay Church (March 19, 2013)

Amazingly, within a time frame of less than a month, I’ve read these six articles I will prominently feature here and provide links for each of them—and apparently, I have a big guilty pleasure I have to confess to all my readers and subscribers out there: I love articles by The Huffington Post and anything MSNBC related!

But in all seriousness, a while back, as I was surfing around Google, I read one story that I can now say marked a first tender emotional and spiritual milestone in my consideration to love and support gay people and the gay and lesbian community.

Some friends and I, with The Marin Foundation, spent the day at Chicago’s (Gay) Pride Parade. We wore shirts that said “I’m Sorry,” and carried signs that said, “I’m sorry that Christians judge you,” and “I’m sorry the way churches have treated you.” Amidst religious protesters screaming hateful rhetoric into megaphones at participants, we wanted to share a different message.

I loved watching people’s faces as they saw our shirts, read the signs, and looked back at us. Responses were incredible. Some people blew us kisses, some hugged us, some screamed thank you. A couple ladies walked up and said we were the best thing they had seen all day. I wish I had counted how many people hugged me. One guy in particular softly said, “Well, I forgive you.”

Watching people recognize our apology brought me to tears many times. It was reconciliation personified. My favorite though was a gentleman dancing on a float. He was dressed only in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them. Then it clicked. Then he got it. He stopped dancing, became very serious, and jumped off of the float to run towards us. He and his beautiful sweat drenched abs hugged me and whispered, “thank you.”

IMG_0996_JPG_scaled980Before I had even let go, another guy ran up to me, kissed me on the cheek, and gave me a bear hug that nearly knocked the wind out of me. This is why I do what I do. This is why I will continue to do what I do.

I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride. Sadly, a lot of religious groups want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most people won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan.

However, I think Jesus would have hugged him too. There are churches that say they accept all. There are businesses that say they accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is. And when there isn’t reconciliation, there isn’t full acceptance. Reconciliation is more painful; it’s more difficult. Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness and unity….

I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.

~ An excerpt from I Hugged a Man in His Underwear – And I am Proud, originally written by Nathan Albert; Reblogged by Jonathan Williams (December 30, 2010)

That was only the first strike, but several months ago, it left a deep impression on me, and how I would gradually come to embrace a form of love and acceptance that my fellow gay and lesbian friends would want to expect from a non-gay person—and stop the bigoted faggotry. There would be multiple times where I would actually lie awake in bed at night, or have some quiet time to myself during the day, and sit there and actually ponder, “If I was gay, wouldn’t I want to be loved and accepted as a person by my closest friends and family, and a forgiven sinner by the grace of God?” with an almost immediate resounding “Yes!” in my head every single time that particular question would come to mind.

As I once wrote in Scared and Wounded…and Yet, Somehow Still Hoping back in December 2011, I grew up in a strictly anti-gay background and was raised to believe to oppose all homosexual intercourse—and therefore, homosexuality as an orientation in itself—because they’re “unnatural.” But, looking past the sex for a brief moment, I still realize gay people are not just GAY PEOPLE but PEOPLE too. If Christians and believers of other faiths were to blindly follow right-wing propaganda and only bash on gay people just because of their sex lives, from a liberal perspective, that does seem to be demeaning and superficial. From a conservative perspective, however, they only tend to do most of the gay bashing as a result of living in a constant state of fear that the sanctity of heterosexual relationships, and heterosexual love, in effect, will be permanently altered and damaged by the legalizing of this ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE.


I understand if viewing this Newsroom clip will anger many people, as it had angered me as well. Nevertheless, I still withheld that initial wave of anger as Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) accused Sutton Wall (Damon Gupton) of being a black and gay man, whom Mr. Rick Santorum would proudly find “disgusting” and immediately disapprove of. Sutton’s ending speech won me over this time, however, not McAvoy’s blatant accusations. At one point, McAvoy even acknowledges he pushed the argument too far but could not help it.

Still, I believe Will got the lecture he deserved to hear because his accusations seemed to certainly reach a tipping point where he sounds like he is literally demonizing Santorum and the entire Republican Party because they don’t fit Will’s political preferences or ideologies.

Then again, I am not here to demonize all right-wing belief as I still hold my views on abortion and on gay marriage/civil unions very personally.


Back to the topic at hand, I hope this documentary video will provide the perfect sense of closure for all my readers, no matter if you support gay rights and equality, leaning, neutral or not in favor.

Have a blessed Good Friday and Easter everyone! Jesus loves you ALL and God bless! 😀

Celebrating Taiwan’s (and the Republic’s) Ups and Downs: 66 Years On and Counting

We live in the present, we dream of the future and we learn eternal truths from the past.

~ Madame Chiang Kai-Shek AKA Soong May-Ling/宋美齡 (1898 – 2003)

In 1895, after China suffers a major defeat in the first Sino-Japanese War, as part of the agreement, Imperial Japan annexes the island of Formosa (Taiwan) into its growing empire—inevitably to become one of its most valuable colonies. Half a century later, as the tide of war turns and the Japanese surrender to Allied forces, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek states in an August 15, 1945 address to a now post-WWII China:

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I am deeply moved when I think of the teachings of Jesus Christ that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us and love our enemies. My fellow countrymen know that “Remember not evil against others” and “Do good to all men” have been the highest virtues taught by our own sages. We have always said that the violent militarism of Japan is our enemy, not the people of Japan. Although the armed forces of the enemy have been defeated and must be made to observe strictly all the terms of surrender, yet we should not for a moment think of revenge or heap abuses upon the innocent people of Japan. We can only pity them because they have been so sadly deceived and misled, and hope that they will break away from the wrong-doing and crimes of their nation. Let all our fellow citizens, soldiers and civilians remember this.[1]

Within approximately six decades, Japan went from the image of a mighty Asian imperialist aggressor to a humbled yet honorable people, as the late President speaks with pride and assurance for his beloved country. And as I have thought and written in January’s column, “I don’t hate the country or the people—except those individuals involved in the actual brutality. I only hate what the Japanese have done in the past, but I am also equally hoping they will also be willing to come forward and apologize as much as we would want to.”

Continuing with this ongoing idea of re-examining history’s woes in search of truth, February 28th unfortunately marks a dark and dreadful day for the Taiwanese people. On this very day sixty-six years ago, a disagreement between rogue parties—in the midst of a major transition of political power from the Japanese to the Kuomintang—gradually erupts into full-scale revolution across the island, culminating in the KMT’s infamous White Terror period of martial law, interrogation and imprisonment of thousands.

While I am aware many people today may form differing opinions on who or what is to blame for the actual 228 Incident, I do not intend to go into much detail on the events leading up to the uprisings. Preserved historical records can dictate exactly what happened but will do no justice as to blaming one party completely without giving all participants an equal voice in the matter.

Shooting workers near the Winter Palace January 9, 1905 (Расстрел на Дворцовой площади 9 января 1905 года ) by Ivan Vladimirov

Shooting workers near the Winter Palace January 9, 1905 (Расстрел на Дворцовой площади 9 января 1905 года ) by Ivan Vladimirov

I will draw a slight parallel, however, between this Incident and that of the 1905 Bloody Sunday incident in former Tsarist Russia where thousands of peaceful demonstrators and spectators met heavy gunfire and the sabers of the Imperial Guard outside the gates of the Winter Palace.

An old man named Lavrentiev, who was carrying the Tsar’s portrait, had been one of the first victims. Another old man caught the portrait as it fell from his hands and carried it till he too was killed by the next volley. With his last gasp the old man said “I may die, but I will see the Tsar”.

Both the blacksmiths who had guarded me were killed, as well as all these who were carrying the ikons and banners; and all these emblems now lay scattered on the snow. The soldiers were actually shooting into the courtyards at the adjoining houses, where the crowd tried to find refuge and, as I learned afterwards, bullets even struck persons inside, through the windows.

At last the firing ceased. I stood up with a few others who remained uninjured and looked down at the bodies that lay prostrate around me. Horror crept into my heart. The thought flashed through my mind, “And this is the work of our Little Father, the Tsar”. Perhaps the anger saved me, for now I knew in very truth that a new chapter was opened in the book of history of our people.

~ Father George Gapon, an excerpt from The Story of My Life (1905)[2]

As the demonstrators in Russia pleaded for greater social and economic reforms from their beloved Tsar Nicholas II, so too did the initial crowd of people in Taipei on that one day as well.

Despite all of the tragedies that may have occurred, the survivors are here today to stand and honor the deceased while simultaneously moving forward to build a better future for all Chinese, Taiwanese, and even Okinawans.

Many Okinawans whose ancestors had once lived on Heping Island also attended the ceremony — among them was Shiosei Yashumoto, whose great-uncle, Chouzou Uchima, lived on Heping Island from 1905 to 1945, and was the model for the fisherman statue.

“My great uncle lived in Taiwan from 1905 to 1945. He was a good friend of Taiwanese, he taught them some fishing techniques unique to Okinawa and gave his Taiwanese friends fish during wartime when the [Japanese colonial] government prohibited selling fish to the Taiwanese,” Yashumoto said through a translator. “He was even arrested for that, but he was released by arguing that he didn’t ‘sell’ the fish, rather, people took it from him for free.”

~ An excerpt from Statue honors Okinawans who died in 228 Incident, published December 2011 in the Taipei Times (台北時報)[3]

And quite contrary to popular belief, there are even positive stories that can come out of such a horrible tragedy as this one:

Ding Ming-Nan (丁名楠)

Ding Ming-Nan (丁名楠)

The district head, Ding Ming-Nan, was the nephew of the then Administrator of Taiwan, Chen Yi. He had always taken good care of the people in his district; spent his own money to buy text books and story books for the local kids. The residents in the district revered him. When the 228 Incident broke out, the young people took to protect him. They promised him safety if he did not leave his residence. When the 21st Division arrived, he was very worried because he heard the soldiers started shooting people as soon as they landed. He asked the young troop members to give up their weapons and promised their safety. But they were in a high state of agitation and thought he was threatening them because of the imminent arrival of government troops. They raised their guns, switched off the safety, and were going to shoot him on the spot.

Ding Ming-Nan’s tears rolled down unbidden. He pointed at his own chest and said, “If you want to shoot, please go ahead. I mean well. You do not know the brutality of war. It is a horrific experience to kill people. I am just trying to spare you!”

These people who had undergone Japanese military training were moved by his words. Calling him an enemy worthy of respect, they let him go.

Later, Ding Ming-Nan kept his promise. When the army arrived, he assured them that there had been no conflict in the Tsenwen district, and they should move on. The locals suffered no casualty and were grateful to him.

~ An excerpt from Chen Yi (陳儀)’s Nephew Ding Ming-Nan (丁名楠) Saved the Tsenwen (曾文) District.[4]

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“President Ma Ying-jeou bows to the family members of a 228 Incident victim, yesterday, after apologizing to the public over the violent event on behalf of the government. Ma then returned the government-documented private letters written by the victims to their families, and presented certificates to restore the name of the victims. (CNA)” Source: The China Post

Since 1995, 228 has been widely discussed with the Taiwanese public, and, beginning with Lee Teng-hui, public commemorations and apologies to surviving members and descendants of people who have experienced the events of the White Terror era firsthand are initiated on an annual basis.

I acknowledge that Taiwan and its people have been through much strife in the past, and I too would like to humbly step forward and apologize—on behalf of the country of my forefathers and mothers, on behalf of the President’s namesake, and on behalf of the Kuomintang (Nationalist) Party.

May we all learn to forgive the wrongdoings of the past, and forgive the people involved in such incidents.


On an unrelated but very optimistic note, I heartily congratulate and commend filmmaker Ang Lee for his Oscar nomination for Best Director for the film Life of Pi!

I believe his acceptance speech shown below speaks volumes of not only the love he has for Taiwan, but the love that I have for the island too. 🙂

Ilha Formosa…In Memoriam of 228. We will never forget.