Pride & Prejudice

So as usual, there is in-fighting amongst all the letters in our glorious alphabet of communities. This year seems to have taken a new twist as people are losing their sh*t over changes to the rainbow flag in PA. Apparently, some folks have decided to add extra stripes to denote the inclusion of race.

For my part, I don’t really care either way. If you want to add some stripes to represent the inclusion of race on the flag be my guest. The rainbow flag is just a symbol. It doesn’t define me or my life so modifying it doesn’t really affect me one way or the other. Symbols are meant to represent us, not define us.

On the one side, racism is just as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the straight world. What harm is there in adding reflections of race to show inclusion? Even though the flag wasn’t meant to reflect race, so what if some people want to include a variation that includes it. I’ve seen so many personal variations of the rainbow flag for years. Where is the outrage on all those variations? No one owns a symbol anymore than they own an idea. Let us all stop acting like changing a recognized symbol will end all our hard earned rights.  

On the other side, I also don’t really think it helps anything. Many of our racial tensions are tied to various socioeconomic issues. Until we work thru these, changing a symbol does absolutely nothing IMO. Actions are stronger than words. How about we stop using disrespectful terms to refer to other races? How about we stop acting like every unflattering joke or mention of race/gender is an attack? Even better, how about we stop marginalizing everyone because of the actions of a few? Instead, let us accept that others suffer differently than you. Be willing to look outside your sphere of existence to see thru another’s eyes.These actions and attitudes are much more effective at stopping hate, mistrust, and fear.

This whole pissing match is a reflection of the deeper issues within our umbrella. These ever growing trends of attacking and/or shaming anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest, are doing the work of our enemies for them. We are destroying our communities from within. Our umbrella of people rarely agree on any given topic. Why must we make enemies of each other over different view points like this? The level of vitriol and disgusting behavior I’ve seen on both sides has been deeply disturbing. This is not how we should be treating each other.We can disagree with our allies w/o labeling them as enemies. We can be patient and show understanding as we try to educate those around us who thru privilege or ignorance don’t understand a given viewpoint. Shock value and strong-arm tactics might sometimes work against our enemies but when we use them on our allies we only further the divide between us.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I still support equality and freedom for all. That makes me an ally even though I’m a person who won’t be shouted down just because I don’t always see eye to eye with everyone else. When we silence the voices of our allies over internal squabbles, what is their motivation to speak for us when we need them? And don’t even get me started on the growing tide of small groups who decide they can’t compromise even a little. They demand to have their way or else. If you refuse, they do everything possible to obstruct or shut down the process. How is that productive? You don’t win hearts and minds that way.

While the LGBTI movement has taken some significant large steps recently, it took decades to get this far. We gained many of our rights slowly one at time. We still have more to accomplish. Many of these new found rights are under renewed attack. We need to be unified now more than ever.

Stupefy

Today is brought to you by the letter S.

stu·pe·fy

ˈst(y)o͞opəˌfī/

verb

verb: stupefy; 3rd person present: stupefies; past tense: stupefied; past participle: stupefied; gerund or present participle: stupefying

  1. make (someone) unable to think or feel properly.

And how do we avoid stupefying those around us on social media when presented with a story or “news” item we want to believe but aren’t really sure is true? Let me offer you these short rules. 

  • Read the article. Does it match the title? If not, ignore it. Otherwise,  move on to the next step. 
  • Do you trust the source? Is the source well known or legitimate?1 If not, don’t share. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • Has the source been caught fabricating stories or publishing false and/or misleading edits of stories? If so, don’t share. If not, move on to the next step. 
  • Seriously, go read the article. We all know you didn’t read it. If it really passed the previous steps move on to the next step. 
  • Does the action / event / article cite sources or provide proof to back up claims, accusations, and/or accomplishments? Sourcing yet another article with no proof is not a valid source. If not, don’t share. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • If you’re too busy to read it, can’t go thru all the steps, or you feel the article is too long, don’t share it. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • Does the article attempt to guilt or scare you into sharing it? If so, don’t share. No, you arent helping others “just in case“. Otherwise, move to the next step.
  • Does the article attempt to incite hatred or violence against others based on bias? If so, don’t share it.

If it passes all these steps then and ONLY then should you consider sharing it. Even then, you should still ask yourself if sharing will contribute in any way to the discussion? 

Now you know. Next time you are about to share a news story on social media you know what to ask yourself to avoid stupefying others. 

😜




  1. stating how many people removed from you can contest to its authenticity is not trustworthy ie “my coworker’s cousin’s wife can attest to this and she is  [insert contrived position of authority here]” []

Beard-tastrophe!

beardless
Missing beard

It shall be known as the great beard-tastrophe of 2017!

I had an accident while trimming the other day. I use my beard trimmers to trim my head about once every week or so. With so little hair, it doesn’t make sense to have two tools for one job. hehehe  Anyway, clumsy Cletus forgot to put the guard back on when moving on to the beard and sheered a good chunk of it off. It looked weird so I had to shave it all.

I actually don’t think my face has been this bare in about 5 or so years. It’s no secret I am not a fan of big beards.1  That said, I love scruff and fuzz. I had a goatee and scruffy beard back before it was trendy and all the ‘man-bear’ rage.2  I routinely keep it short. I had first opted to keep my sideburns but Shawn was insistent that they looked stupid. “You look stupid two little patches of hair on the sides of your face.”  I disagreed but when you have a hubby, you learn to pick your battles. heehee

I’ve had the goatee since I was about 25 or so. I think I’ve only shaved it once since then. I never liked my face w/o a goatee. As soon as I could grow one out full enough, I did. I’ve had it ever since. To me it just fills out my face better.

Anyhoo. Fear not fellow mortals. It will be back soon enough. It takes me about a week and half to grow a full one so I should be back to normal in about two weeks. I consider myself lucky that I survived the catastrophe!

🙂

 




  1. They creep me the f**k out actually []
  2. yawn []

Ever After

The blog title is also the title of one of my favorite movies. It came out in 1998. Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston were two of the leads, not to mention Dougray Scott.1  It’s the modern day remake of the Cinderella story. It’s quite good if you’ve never seen it. It was on cable again recently and of course I got sucked into watching it. I noticed at the end, I wasn’t wistful or lonesome this time. That got me to thinking. 

Back when I was an insecure mess and still trying to figure things out, this movie always made me lonesome and wistful at the same time. Lonesome for the obvious reasons and wistful for a love that transcended life. I just knew if I could find the ‘right love’ life would be perfect. The movie is the epitome of the love conquers all fairy tall. I was sold hook, line, and sinker.

However, this time around I think a few things occurred to me. Relationships need love. They can’t really survive without it. But the idea that love makes everything ok is utter bullshit IMO. Love doesn’t keep people together. While it certainly helps brin them together, staying together requires a lot more. Frankly, we need to stop force feeding the fairy tale idea to our kids or at least provide some balance. The older I get the more I see love as a lubricant that helps all the other parts of the id slip/slide around each other. Or maybe it’s like a really elastic glue. It stretches to allow growth but pulls individual pieces of ourselves into a cohesive pattern. Like real world lubricant, it dries out and can crack if not nutured or renewed. For gay men I think we spend so much of our lives trying to fit in and belong we get caught up in the idea of the perfect relationship. I know I did. For years, I felt like if I could just find the right guy my life would be all better.2  He’d fix all my problems just thru love. In reality, I wanted someone else to fix my own failings. I spent all my time hoping to find the right guy intead of trying to BE the right guy.l It took me long enough to realize it doesn’t work that way. No one can ‘fix’ you but you. 

Lawd knows I’ve had my bad relationships. And some of them have been doozies. I used to think of them as failures. I don’t anymore. For along time, I was too dysfunctional to even notice much less learn, but I did eventually. I learned relationships take work. They need more than love and even then they aren’t perfect. Perfection is a myth reinforced by our fair tayles. I’m sure I drive Shawn crazy at times, in fact I know I do, but that’s the best part. We can drive each other crazy and still realize we love this person. I’m learning successful relationships are about loving someone for their best qualities and still accepting them for their flaws. 

I won’t pretend to know the future. I’ve certainly been burned rambling about it here before. I am happy Shawn and I have a good foundation. I accept all of him. And while there are times we get on each other’s nerves, I still love him every day. I hope that lasts for us. For the first time in my life I am able to love in a way that is healthy IMO. I’m not clinging to him out of misplaced fear. I’m not with him because I’m afriad to be alone. I’m not with him because I feel incomplete. 

I love the idea of growing old with Shawn. Two crotchety old fools getting on each others nerves but never wanting to be a part. I totally love love LOVE that idea! And I could see it happening. But…if things change and one of us felt unhappy, not fulfilled, or we just grew apart, I’d be ok with that too. I love hime enough I’d still only want him to be happy. I’d like to think I love him for the right reasons and I’m secure enough to want him to be happy over us staying together. I don’t think that means I care less, just the opposite actually.

I’ve always said love with limits is just a form of control. True love isn’t a testament to how long a relationship lasts. To me, true love is loving someone knowing it might last a lifetime or it might not. True love is based on how you love, not how long you love. So while I can enjoy the fairy tale movies, I realize these stories are meant to inspire us to love, not to teach us how to love. 




  1. Boy, he used to do it for me. hehehe []
  2. I should post some snapshots of my really old journals. They were so sad. []

How to Respond? 

An interesting situation presented itself to me recently. Not too long after I moved to SF, I was flirting with a guy online I had seen at the gym and around town several times. In my view he was damn near perfect. Perfect is always a subjective term but he definitely turned my crank.  Now keep in mind, this was pre-mobile app world and even before blogging. Hehehe  Anyway, he went out of his way to demean me and attempted to shame me for assuming I was at his level. At the time, I was still pretty dysfunctional and while I didn’t let him know it, his comments hurt my feelings pretty bad. I still had such low self-worth back then and it just fed into my compulsive behavior and insecurities.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, he literally  runs into me at the gym, and clearly not realizing who I was, proceeds to put the moves on me pretty hard. How should one respond to that? How would you have responded?

*

Before I give my actual response, let me step back for a second. I’m not the man I was back then. I’ve found myself. I’ve struggled for sure but gone are the days where such comments would even phase me. While I certainly recovered from his slight, it did give me enough pause at the time to wonder if I had made a mistake in moving to SF.

Besides the internal changes I’ve made over the years, I’ve also packed on quite a few pounds of muscle from those days. Maybe that’s why he’s sudden change of “heart.”?  Honestly, the why doesn’t really concern me. And in the simple act of realizing I don’t need to know what changed his mind, I was given an affirmation of my struggle. An affirmation to the near death of my crippling insecurities from those days. And I know I’ve posted several times over the last couple years about my random affirmations or epiphanies. I think there is a deep part of my id that refuses to accept my transformation. A tiny seed of doubt is still there. And because I recognize it, I stay vigilant against it ever growing into anything more than a seed.

*

At that moment, a lot of things ran thru my head pretty quickly. I admit a tiny part of me was tempted to say yes. I mean I am an opportunist after all, and he is still pretty hot in my eyes Heehee  But My first thoughts were “why now?” And then my second thought was “why do I care why now?” That spawned an idea to test the waters so to speak. I declined his advance and began to walk away. As I did, I heard him mutter, “your loss.”  I wasn’t even tempted to reply or act as if I’d heard his obvious barb. I just kept walking and went back to my workout.

A few things occurred to me as I walked away. One, he clearly hasn’t grown or changed since the first time we met. Two, the potentially delicious joy of rubbing his face in it after we’d hooked up would have been more about revenge than attraction. And three, I felt a great swell of pity for him. He is trapped by his own insecurities and his protective coping mechanisms are crippling him much like mine did to me. The problem is as he ages those protective acts/thoughts won’t hold up to the harsh realities around him.

Manners

I’ve probably lamented this before but manners are all but dead these days. People are so entitled and rude it’s astounding. This is yet another reason we seem to be devolving into chaos. 

I’m at Starbucks the other day getting a refill and this chick comes in and tries to cut in front of like 3 people. She gets called on it and tried to act suprised at first. Realizing it isn’t going to work she then switches to a rather indignant tone about how she is in a hurry and her kid is in the car. The older gentleman she cut in front of wasn’t having any of it. He promptly told her to get the hell to the back of the line and go get her damn kid out of the car. I could have hugged him. Sadly, I’ve witnessed this scenario more than once at Starbucks. At this point everyone is staring and she floundes out in a huff. 

*

I’m walking down the street a few weeks back and it’s raining. I watch a women with an umbrella covering herself and letting her teenage kid walk in the rain. She seemed to think it was perfectly ok to let the kid just get soaking wet. I could hear her bitching about how her sweater couldn’t get wet. How about you not wear the damn sweater on a rainy day? 

*

A guy is rushing to cross the street and trips a women by accident. Does he stop to help her? Nope, the f**ker just kept going. Well that is until another man coming the other direction spun him around and physically pushed him back over to where the women was. I didn’t hear the conversation but the other man made it pretty clear he was going to help the women up or get his ass beat.1 This one really upset me. Had the other gentleman not intervened I would have. Luckily, the woman wasn’t injured. 

*

Don’t even get me started on how often guys are rude as shit at the gym. The other day I saw a guy facetiming while trying to workout. And if you live stream your workout in a busy gym, you need a punch to the dick. 

*

I may not be the most refined peson on the planet. Lawd knows I don’t come from “good stock.”  But I try to use my maners often. Sometimes my mouth might get the best of me, but that’s OK because I can also apologize when necessary. Either way, be considerate and remember there is more to the world than your little bubble of self awareness. 




  1. I always forget to take out my phone and record this kind of stuff. []

Straight Dude

Ugh, I’m so over our every increasing need to make straights into secret gays. Every day there is some new tag-line or nonsense story about “straight dudes having gay sex but they are totally straight, gay for pay, brojobs, on the DL, straight but curious, etc”. It’s all nonsense. 

Newsflash! If you’re having gay sex, regardless of the reasons, you aren’t entirely straight. Our sensationalist style media doesn’t help either. They know coining it this way leads to more ad-clicks. Greed is king.  But calling yourself “straight” or performing linguistic gymnastics doesn’t change the truth. If you’re putting your cock in another dude, for any reason including money, you’re a “little bit gay.” Society may help you repress or ignore it but it’s still there.
To quote Gore Vidal, “Trust a nitwit society like this one to think that there are only two categories — gay and straight1  Our genetics makes us incredibly varied in our forms and behaviors. Why we cling to this idea that we can only be gay or straight is beyond me, especially now. Don’t even get me started on the whole straight fetish scene either. I get it, for some it is the allure that ‘straight’ dudes are somehow more masculine. Whatever pops your cork, but don’t for a minute think you are fooling anyone.

To be fair, we do see more folks admitting they are sexually fluid these days, Sexually fluid is just another term for being bisexual but if it makes it sound nicer, who am I to argue? 

It is natural for us to label things and people. Labels help our brains process and identify our reality. It makes everything “more real” in our minds. However, we also have something called logic and reason. Don’t fall for these silly attempts at pretense. Own it. Be your most authentic self. And don’t fall for the idea you have to identify as this or that to feel more accepted. If you’re mostly ‘straight’ but occassionaly like a little d*ck on the side, own it. Don’t pretend a very real part of you doesn’t exist and don’t try to ignore it. Our id will not be ignored. It will come out at some point, and often not in a good way. Be whatever makes you feel happiest and/or the most fulfilled. Don’t fall for these shameful scams at avoiding being labeled gay. It discredits our right to be. There isn’t anything wrong with being gay or straight or anywhere in between. Being gay doesn’t make you less manly or masculine anymore than being straight makes you more so. And if you feel the need to avoid the label, ask yourself why?  It might help you face your own demons. Regardless, we owe it to ourselves not to reinforce these stereotypes. 

/rant 




  1. He actually said “fag” but the quote gets cleaned up from time to time []

IG: Removed

So I had 2 pictures posted to IG1 removed a couple weeks ago. For the life of me, I’m not sure why. First, they were reported, it wasn’t just some random bot. Second, while they were of me in my underwear, nothing untoward was going on. You could have called them R-rated only because you could see my crotch but even that wasn’t ‘flashy’, nothing see thru, no vpl2, and no arousal. I guess the simple bulge was just too much for the moderator, who removed them. Lol

I had originally posted them to show off my leg growth. I see way more skimpy pics on IG everyday. Hell, half the dudes I follow are because they post revealing stuff!  Anyway, I wasn’t upset. I mean I was a little, but I didn’t go on some long tirade about the unfairness of it all. It isn’t my site so I don’t get to make the rules; however arbitrarily they are enforced. That said, everything I post to IG gets posted to my photoblog as well. If you follow me on both, it’s always there. I might have relented on having total control of my ramblings, but I doubt I’ll ever give it up completely. 

If you read with regularity, you know I’m not a fan of censorship. You’re contrived offense is just another way of saying you don’t like it. Here’s a clue, don’t effin’ follow me then.  As for me, I’ll keep posting whatever I feel like. I gave up worring about other people’s delicate sensibilities years ago. I don’t even worry about my coworkers anymore. They know me well enough to know I’m TMI sometimes. That doesn’t change when I’m NOT at work!  If they follow, they do so because they are adults. I never post nudity or porn so they have little to fear in that regard. And, if you can’t handle a crotch shot, you lead a very sheltered life IMO. 

I guess I’m legit now though. Lol  I mean if people aren’t hatin’ on you you aren’t doing it right, right?3  It’s part of why I’m withdrawing from social media sites more and more. It’s been a blessing for my moods and peace of mind these last few weeks. 




  1. Instagram []
  2. visible penis line []
  3. see what I did there lol []

Fellow Traveler

As previously mentioned, I’m abandoning the one-word titles. They were fun for awhile but I’m over it. hehehe

I’m always tickled when I run into things that reinforce my thoughts or rants. After my post about my growth and life I ran into a buddy at the gym and we had a very interesting chat. It started as small talk and just a catch up. It turned into my buddy sharing with me how he recently attended a class that he felt was transformative and healing for him. I was hooked and shared a little about my struggles and how my blog helped me. I could have spent all night talking but he was still working out and I was on my way out. 

It was an affirmation for me though. It is rare for me to encounter someone who I feel is really working on personal growth. And that isn’t a jab at anyone, it’s just an observation. So many of us grow and struggle, but over time we develop coping-mechanisms to combat our failings and we just live with them. I’m always excited seeing that spark of excitement in someone’s eyes when they are discovering, or I should say rediscovering, themselves. I recommended one of my favorite books to him.1  I offered to grab lunch sometime and talk more. I hope he takes me up on it. 

It probably sounds silly but it revived a little of my own excitement. As mentioned, it was a simple yet very touching affirmation for me. It made me proud of my own work. I hope I get to share more with him. 




  1. How many of few long time readers remember? []

World AIDS Day

***Note – I actually wrote this post in 2015 but thru some sort of typo it got scheduled for 2016.***

World AIDS Day has a special meaning to many of us in the LGBT community. If you are over the age of 40, it is extremely unlikely you haven’t personally lost at least 1 friend or loved one to AIDS. While it is more of a chronic illness in western culture these days, it is still incurable and people are still dying. While I lost several friends over the years, two were very close to my heart and I use this day to fondly remember said individuals. Today I want to talk about Damien.

Damien was the manager of the Club Houston.1 I happened to meet him at a very rough time in my life. The first time meeting him left me a bit rattled actually. I was still young and very naive at the time. And while I’ve always been able to put on a good poker face, I was very intimidated by him. He was this rather imposing figure. He carried himself w/a bit of what I referred to then as arrogance. It helped his image that he was tall and lean. He had long curly hair, of which he he was very fond. He had a reputation for being very strict and frankly, being a bitch. As I would discover later, it was all a cover. He was actually quite kind and generous. He just had a really low tolerance for drama.

For myself, I was struggling to not be homeless at the time and ended up working at the Club for money on weekends. I’d come in and do the weekend bbq and they paid cash. Considering I was sleeping in my car at the time, I wasn’t in a position to refuse. Being funny and social, I quickly went from just weekend work to weekday work on a full-time schedule. Damien quickly fell in love with me (as a friend and mentor). One, I was a hard worker2 but that just served to get his attention. He loved me because, as he put it, “I was the nelliest funniest queen he’d ever met” For you long timer readers, you’ll remember I turned myself into a stereotype back then because I thought that’s what I had to be to gain acceptance. And truth be told, you would not have even recognize me then. But he loved me because I was so fiercely “out.” Anyway, back on topic.

After a little while, word filtered back to him regarding my situation and my routine unofficial overnight hangouts became a sanctioned activity. Employees were allowed to use the ‘gym’ for free. hehehe It was a huge burden lifted for me. A couple of the employees didn’t like me because they knew I’d rat their lazy asses out if they got high and slacked off while on duty. Said slacking meant more work for me. They would routinely kick me out after my time limit expired at night. This left me on the street anywhere from 4-6 hours in the late night/early mornings. The police were not friendly and the neighborhood wasn’t overly safe so I’d drive to a nicer area of town and park in well-lit areas. Anyway, what very few people knew at the time is he also helped me behind the scenes as well. I was the beneficiary of a monthly “employee of the month” program that seemed to only exist for my benefit. Said program paid extra cash to the winner. Damien grew to trust me a lot and was also a mentor to me. Having been thru some of life’s harsher roads before me, he would often share pearls of hard earned wisdom with me.

After a year or so, I moved on. While I had no shame in working there, I didn’t intend to stay that way. I’ve always been a quick study and any time life presents an opportunity I take it. I continued working and finding better jobs to better myself. Damien and I stayed in touch and I’d routinely lend a hand if he asked. An employee would get fired or just disappear and he’d call me for a quick shift. I was glad to help someone who helped me.

When Damien got sick, I was living in Boulder, CO. I caught a flight back as soon as I could and got back in time. It is a surreal experience to see the life and health leave someone you know. Gone was the vibrant man I knew. In his place was the decaying shell of a human being. In a word, it was ghastly. I loved this kindred soul and it broke me in so many little ways to see him reduced to this. When he passed away, I promised I’d never let myself die that way. I’d never let anything reduce me to such a state. (Kids say the craziest things when we think we are invincible)

[This part is new since I wrote this.] So today, I celebrate his life. He wouldn’t want me to be sad or down. He would want me to be fierce and alive. So in his honor, I celebrate the life of all of those we’ve lost due to AIDS. I celebrate the life of those who still live with AIDS. I celebrate their courage in the fight to live. I celebrate the new treatments and drugs available to everyone. Besides treatment drugs we also have PrEP now.3 PrEP is changing the landscape of treatment and transmission.

I celebrate the kindred soul that touched my mine and helped me on my own path.

Hope springs eternal…




  1. One of two large bathhouses in the city []
  2. yes, even in a bathhouse. []
  3. Pre-Exposure Prophylactics []