Judgey Much?

I get a lot of requests about my thoughts on political subjects.1  I tend to avoid them or at the very least discuss in private. My reasoning has always been people have a right to their opinions, even the ones I don’t like. However, you do not have the right to tell me how to live or enforce your beliefs on me. I draw the line at bigotry. The intersection of these two fundamental principles is entirely up for discussion which is what brings me to my post today.

One of my far away readers, all the way from Sydney, wanted to know my thoughts on the right of a baker or florist to not provide service to me for a same-sex wedding. And as always, I’m all about distinctions so I have sort of a split take on it. There is always that ‘gut’ part of me that says, “why would I want to do business with anyone who doesn’t want my business to start off with?”  I mean you can always choose someone else, right? Then my logic kicks in and I start rationalizing it out.

The problem I have with these so called moral-objectors is their outright hypocrisy. In several of the high-profile cases hitting the news, several of them flat out admitted they don’t particularly question most of their clients. More still when questioned specifically hem and haw over it and until they finally admit the truth. A couple of them even went so far as to admit they don’t really care about the “sins” of most of their clients as long as they weren’t gay.  Therein lies the distinction. Most of these folks regularly make no inquiry into their clientele’s beliefs. If you’re that devoutly religious then you would think they screen all of their customers to avoid violating their beliefs, right? It is no secret I have less and less use for religion as I age. The dissent and destruction is causes far outweighs the benefit IMO. However, I can’t deny it represents a powerful foundation for many people. And if I found a person who truly walked the walk then I’d honestly be more supportive of their freedoms. I can still disagree with most of religion and accept your right to believe and walk your path. Tangent: Ironic how I can accept them but they can’t accept me?

It isn’t really about belief. It is about enforcing their morals on you. In other words, bigotry. These people disapprove of your choices and by refusing they are telling you,  “Your ‘lifestyle’ is not OK with me; I am going to punish you by refusing to provide you a service I provide to everyone else without question.” That is really what it boils down to. So no, it isn’t really about their beliefs. It is about their ability to discriminate against you.  That I have a problem with. I can’t support these people’s so called freedoms because they are liars and frauds.

As for myself, I don’t think I’d sue. One, I don’t have the financial resources for that. Two, I don’t work in a job where I could just miss sh*t-tons of work for the never-ending court appearances, hearings, etc. I’d probably make a big stink, share it with as many people as I could and move on to someone else who wanted my business. However, I applaud those who stand up and won’t back down. I applaud those who can sue and take on the fight for everyone to be treated equally.

 




  1. Mostly, from my 20-30 crazy but exceptionally loyal readers. hehehe []

Only Fans?

No, I will not “follow” your Onlyfans page. No, I will not spend money to see you naked. I don’t even pay for porn and you think I’m gonna pay $8-15 a month to see one person naked or doing various other naughty things? Nope.

Have you heard of it? Liar! lol  Ok, if you haven’t heard of it, basically it is a website where you create a page people have to pay to see. As you can imagine, much of the content is of the x-rated variety. From what I gather, you can host pics, vids, and/or a live stream. I discovered it after seeing it pop in my IG feed a few times. Ironically, it does not seem to have impacted my snapchat feed much. Granted, I don’t follow near as many people on snapchat. “Viewers” register for your page and by doing so sign up for a monthly fee. So basically, a new take on the web-cam model idea.

The self-advertising has gotten so bad on IG I’ve had to remove a large chunk of folks I follow due to the never ending requests to “follow their page.” Granted, many of the folks I follow are out of purely narcissistic reasons. They are inspiration to get my fat ass to the gym on a consistent basis. However, when your feed feels like an ad campaign I tend to lose interest, regardless of the inspiration. And when you throw shade about it…NEXT!

I guess I can’t be too surprised people have turned to making a profit. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning them. I don’t see anything wrong with using your talents (physical in this case) to make a living. I’ve just become annoyed at the voracity and the attitude. I’ve seen several folks display no small amount of indignation when someone challenges the notion of pay-per-view in their IG comments. Gurl, please! Ain’t nobody got time for that. Sell yo business but don’t get it twisted. You are a commodity in such a forum.

Maybe I should call it the Kardashian effect? (I’m not even sure I spelled that right. I soooo can’t be bothered to even look.)  Maybe someone already coined the phrase?

 

 

Old Gay & the Gym

Someone asked me the other day1 if I thought going to gym was a waste of time since I “clearly wasn’t ripped” and I’m getting older. I originally thought the person was just trying to get in a jab out of some misplaced shortcomings. Then I got to wondering if other gay guys really think that way.

First, I don’t go to the gym to get ripped. I go to keep myself in shape. And while I tend to fall off the wagon from time to time, I don’t see that as a failure. I don’t live for the gym. It isn’t my sole focus. And my own shortcomings, be it laziness or my schedule, are part of the equation. I don’t have an expectation I always have to be at my fittest or that others have to constantly validate my attendance with compliments. If you’re going to the gym for any of those reasons, you’re doing it wrong! I gave that up in my mid 20’s.

To answer the main question, I do not feel going to the gym is ‘wasted’ because I’m not ripped. I don’t want to be ripped. That has never been my goal. I like to eat way too much to ever get to that level. I’m ok with that. I go to the gym, regardless of my current weight set, to stay in shape. I get lazy, complacent, or just willful at times and don’t go. I always seem to gravitate back though. I like how I feel after a hard workout. And as much as a bitch and moan about cardio, I’m getting used to it. I like feeling in shape and fit.

As for my age, I don’t see that as a deterrent.  If anything, it motivates me more. Study after study after study has shown that working out prolongs your health and life into old age. Is it a silver bullet? Of course not. However, if it helps me stay active and healthy longer, I’m all for it.

On a totally narcissistic view, I hate droopy skin. Lawd baby jeebus help me stave it off as long as possible! I’m not kicking anyone as it eventually comes to us all, but I hope to avoid it as long as I can. Call it one of my few vanities.2  And don’t even get me started on the flabby booty. Oh, hell naw!

Joking aside, I hope no one reading this thinks they are too old to go to the gym or that it isn’t worth it because they can’t achieve perfection.

 




  1. rather sarcastically I might add []
  2. I have no idea if I’m using that word right, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now. []

Old Man

In the last year I’ve had several interactions either in person or online with younger guys behaving poorly when I didn’t return their affections/advances. Many of their not so nice replies often revolved around my age or lack of hair when they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for. As it either of those things would injure me in any way. 

One particular guy online started adding  “old man” to the end of all his comments, as if I was somehow hurt or injured by it. Of course, the less I got upset the more intense he became. I finally took pity on him and asked if he thought he was accomplishing anything. He ignored my question and kept at it until I started sending him random old man shots from the web.1  Every time he said it, I sent him another picture. He got upset and told me to stop, yet he kept adding “old man” each time. And he continued to get another pic. Realizing he wasn’t going to bait me into an argument, he gave up.

Weeks go by and I get another reply from him. This time he is polite and asked, “what’s wrong with me?”  Since he appeared to be trying to make amends I took the time to reply:

Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with you. Nada, zero, zip. You are a nice looking young man. The fact I am not personally attracted to you for nookie doesn’t negate any of your positive qualities. We are just not a match. I am literally old enough to be your father. That doesn’t work for me. But honestly, the reason(s) shouldn’t matter. You should never assume something is ‘wrong with you” over a lack of interest. Not everyone can be your type and as such, you can’t be everyone’s type. Rejection is a part of life and learning how to handle it will make you stronger as a person. 

He went on to apologize more earnestly and thanked me for offering wisdom. Normally, I would have just blocked him but I get in a mood at times where I am not to be tested. Since I’m not actually angry at the other person, I routinely ‘win’ these little battles as I can have the patience of a saint when I don’t really mind no “winning.” 

I kinda figured fewer young guys would go thru it now that we have more visibility. I guess I was wrong. I must admit I don’t understand it. Ok, well maybe I do. I mean I understand it stems from insecurity over being rejected. I get that part, but when has lashing out at said interest every worked to lure them back?  I won’t say with 100% certainity I never did that, but I honestly don’t ever remember having behaved that way. And we all know what a f**ked up mess I was back then. I do remember getting my feelings hurt quite often for many of the same reasons. I internalized  it and made it about me self-worth vs just attraction. Over the years as learned to value my self-worth differently, the anger, hurt, and pain went away. 

As for guys my age I think a lot of them struggle at this point. They aren’t the youngest or prettiest anymore and it’s intimidating. Interactions they took for granted no longer present themselves so readily. It can sting for sure. I’ve seen it play out for years. I’m grateful I’ve come far enough to avoid such trappings. It only services to make you sad and/or bitter. I’m grateful my self-worth and confidence are no longer based on how much attention I get. And if you find yourself in that category, learn from your mistakes. If you value your self-worth based on attraction, you’re doing it all wrong. Or, as the saying goes, “that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works!.” 




  1. They were of the biblical sense. I figured I’d return his generosity. []

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. []