Friday, November 21, 2014

Like Surviving A Plane Crash

Surviving homophobia is like living through a plane crash. I’ve done both.
My second chance at life presented itself in 1997 when I came out of the closet. The next one came four years later when I switched myself off American Airlines Flight 11 the night before it crashed. I’m still around to tell it all, but getting here hasn’t come easy.
RETAIN THIS RECEIPT THROUGHOUT YOUR JOURNEY chronicles the extraordinary similarities between living as an outcast in a homophobic world and getting beyond the evolving guilt over surviving a mass tragedy. It’s a story of hope, perseverance and the quests of one man trying to find his way back from the very lonely place of being a survivor.
This is not a story about September 11th. That just happened to be the inciting incident that created the impetus to my telling it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Lived. My Friend Died. Sometimes Life is a Hard Thing to Celebrate

Stephen's Name Etched in 911 Memorial
For many years, surviving September 11th was a very lonely place for me. Many might assume that escaping death under most circumstances would be cause to celebrate and consider yourself lucky to be alive. For me, the opposite happened. Within hours of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center, I was overcome with a tremendous sense of guilt and an odd feeling that I'd gotten away with something by living. Why was I so lucky when so many others were not? Surviving became an almost unbearable concept when I learned soon after the attacks that a friend of mine wasn't as fortunate as I.

My friend's younger brother, Stephen L. Roach, was on the 105th Floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the building. The same plane I was scheduled to take home to Los Angeles from Boston until I switched flights the night before.

Stephen L. Roach
Stephen died. I lived and got to go home to my family where I assumed life would return to the way it was before September 11th, and that dark day would one day fade away like a sun-bleached photo. I would be wrong. The guilt and bad feelings would linger for years, the anniversaries replenishing the memories and sharpening the images.

So that's why I say that it's a pretty hard thing to celebrate surviving. Today, I finally am thankful to be alive, a journey that took almost ten years. September 11th changed my life forever. That awful time in history has given me an appreciation for every new day that I'm on this earth and breathing.

It's a strange feeling to know that Stephen and I would have eerily crossed paths that morning, had I not switched flights. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I feel like we did.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The 9/11 Survivor Tree

It's nice to know that some things remain.

Seeking Representation

Hello, Universe! I am currently in search of a super talented literary agent who will share the same passion I have for my story. This is the beginning of my quest for Retain This Receipt Throughout Your Journey to be traditionally published as a memoir. May the Universe be with me! You can always reach me on Twitter @Gmoylan.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Boston Radio Interview 9/11/2012

I was interviewed on Boston's BDCRadio by Julie Kramer and Henry Santoro on the eleven-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We discussed my experience from that day and my forthcoming book.

Click Here to Listen to a Podcast of the Radio Interview

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Changed Ticket From 9/11

You may be wondering why I call this my lucky ticket from 9/11. This is actually a scan of my ticket receipt from September 11, 2001. Up until the day before 9/11, I actually had been booked on American Airlines Flight 11, the plane that was flown into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Through a set of seemingly simple circumstances, however, I changed flights late in the afternoon on September 10th.