TBT – Throw Back Thursday

I have a rare contribution to TBT. This pic is from the early 90’s. I don’t remember the exact date. I found it in the oddest place looking for a blank CD-rom. I have no idea how this pic got in the cabinet, but there it was.1

People never believe me when I tell them how skinny I used to be. Here is a prime pic of how truly scrawny I was. hehehe  I no longer know the 2 guys in the pic so I didn’t think it fair to share their faces w/o permission. I barely recognized myself when I stumbled over this pic. But look at how damn skinny I was!

My body isn’t the only thing that has changed since then but I’ll get to that in a second. You can see the genuine smile on my face. The one thing I always had, even then, was my optimism. For a frame of reference for you long time readers, this was a few years after my near suicide but before my stint at being homeless. I didn’t have a pot to piss in and yet I greeted every day with excitement. Life was carefree and simple.

tubs baby

But to know me then was to know a contradiction. Maybe not the best term but it’s the best I can think of at the moment. I was so damaged and yet so happy to be alive. I woke up every day and eagerly ran out into the world. There was no fear of what might happen, just my determination to keep going. So few ever knew how truly conflicted I was inside. I think in part because I didn’t consciously realize it myself then.

Tangent/  If you look closely, you can see a black bracelet on one wrist and a watch on the other. The bracelet was a cheap piece of rubber but had so much sentimental value to me. It was the last thing M, my first love, ever gave me before he was killed and I wore it for almost 2 decades of my life. I’d also developed a knack for collecting cheap but unusual watches and probably had about 30 of them at this point. I wore a different one every week. This was all still pre-internet. /tangent

It should come as no surprise I moved around a lot. I was searching for a place to ‘fit’, a place to belong. I wanted it, but more importantly I needed it. I also tended to move-in with any guy who showed more than a passing interest in me. I was living in Galveston at the time but was preparing to move to Houston. I needed a place to put down roots so I could move past just surviving. Years later, when I got a chance to move to SF, I jumped at it. I almost fled I left so fast. SF gave me a chance to start over yet again but this time for myself. I didn’t move for a guy or anyone else. I moved for me. Without knowing it, it gave me a chance to stop and assess my life. Having a new place far away from everyone and everything I knew gave me a chance to dismantle the shell I’d built for myself. It gave me a chance to shed my coping mechanisms. I left behind not only a weak body but also a weak mind. I worked hard to get ahead in every way possible. And I’ve come so very far. I’d never have thought it even remotely possible back then.

Today, looking back on it feels as if I’m looking at someone else’s life thru my own eyes. I remember how damaged he was and how hard he struggled to survive. I remember how hard he worked to make sure no one ever knew how horribly inadequate he felt 24/7. I remember how he chronicled and buried his pain in journals. I remember how he hung onto any ounce of praise or attention sent his way. I also remember the few souls who truly befriended him, some who are still in his life today, some not. He was like a tumbleweed just blowing in the winds of life. And yet, all of that aside he was happy. (Ok, no more third party references to myself)  A total contradiction. But, I had survived so much by then why wouldn’t I have been happy? Actually, I was obnoxiously gay and happy at the same time. *giggle*

In this silly picture I am reminded my past gives me strength to face my future. My past failings do not define who I am today. So while I remember that broken shell of a young man, he is not me today. I honor his struggle to move forward the best way he knew how. I rejoice at his silliness, his indomitable spirit, and his unwavering desire to survive. All of which is still with me today.

 




  1. I converted it courtesy of the Google+ Photoscan app, which works surprisingly good. []

T-shirts

I’m big into graphic t-shirts. I’ve always loved t-shirts and am fortunate enough to work in a job where I can still pretty much wear them daily.

Way back when my ex and I were together, he got into making t-shirts. It was super convenient having fresh made t-shirts on hand. If I wanted a shirt he’d just screen one up for me. Bam.  However, fast forward almost 5 years and those shirts are all worn out.1  I realized I was starting to look like a hobo so I’ve been slowly replacing my shirts 1 or 2 at a time. I’ve pretty much replaced them all at this point.

However, I’ve run into a new problem now. I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard and am growing out of large size t-shirts! To make it worse, I’m between sizes. Depending on the brand, a size large fits just right (after being washed) or it’s tight across the shoulders, arms, and chest, and a tiny bit too short. So basically, I look like I’m going out clubbing. lol  While I can still get away with wearing t-shirts at work, being in a slightly more professional environment with my new assignment means I now can’t really wear half of all my new shirts.2

Now I’m stuck either buying duplicates of the same shirts I already have or just buying new ones. It’s annoying as shit considering I tend to like tri-blend (super soft) shirts that aren’t cheap. I’ve also forgotten where I got some of them and I can’t seem to find them again online. I’ve even outgrown several of my tank tops for the gym.

For someone who couldn’t even fill out a small size shirt in my 20’s, I guess it’s a good thing but damn it’s expensive. First world problems I guess but I’m still frustrated over it. I don’t mind spending money on things I like or wear but I hate wasting money and I feel like I’ve wasted a shit-ton of it now. *grumble, grumble*

If you know vendors that sell good quality tri-blend shirts let me know. Right now, my go to list is Crawlspace Studios, Skull & Bones NY, Lamp Apparel, and We Are All Smith.




  1. And we don’t speak at all! []
  2. I have small nipples which tend to poke thru tight t-shirts. FML! []

Consequence

When is the truth no longer the truth? When does manipulation of truth to fit an agenda become deceit? That’s where we seem to be today, here in SF at least. Watching the fallout over many of the recent scandals has been painful at best for me. I’ll admit the resulting vitriol being leveled at each other has really hurt my faith in the community. The fallout has shaken my normally optimistic view of us in general.

From a purely personal POV, it’s been very painful to witness disingenuous tactics and behavior from peers I look up to. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Having never lost a hero or role model, I am still struggling with it. I am saddened to see us so divided and treating each other so horribly. Be it adult actor suicides, the nudity ban, the march to equality, or the Bradley Manning caper, the hate, vitriol, anger, and condescension have all shown a fundamental shift in our ability to express ourselves as well as a renewed since of victimization. We are turning to rule based consequentialism as a moral code; the idea that ethics of the moral right/wrong are based solely on the consequences. (I know, my big word of the day. See, I really do educate myself!)  Said code is often contradictory and ultimately confusing and leads to cognitive dissonance. (I think my little brain has seen this coming because many of my previous posts have delved into different pieces of the overall issue.)

Looking at it from a purely analytical point of view, the behaviors represent a breakdown in our reasoning thru logical consequence.1 Without reason thru logic, there can be no truth. Like religious fundies, we cannot survive a moral code that is dependent on the outcome vs the cause. And to abandon truth and integrity in favor of bias and personal agendas is a recipe for disaster. That is not to say it was unexpected. After being excluded from society, many of us developed our own system of moral codes. It was simply out of a need to cope with being labeled degenerates and abominations and often being outcasts. The problem with moral codes in general is they are often conflictive between individual communities and society as a whole. It’s even more confusing because we’ve developed moral conflicts even when our own community. As previously alluded to in assimilation, there is a part of our community that has embraced their freedoms from the trappings of the mainstream way of life. They’ve adopted a moral code that is much less restrictive than society at large. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But now that the LGBTI community as a whole is being slowly accepted into society, those moral conflicts are creating dissention and fear.

Sadly, many on both sides are abandoning truth in favor of rigidly conservative and intolerant thinking. They bristle at the very idea of compromising. Anyone who disagrees is immediately labeled the enemy, and ironically conservative, as well as having only one goal, the sanitization of gay culture. It is dangerous ground though. To continually conflate every varied issue into one overarching idea of oppression only serves to keep us locked in a pattern of self-inflicted victimization.2  I am somewhat ashamed to see many of said folks have begun to manipulate facts and ‘truth’ based on bias and personal agendas, again much like those who hate us. And the most insidious behavior recently is selling an agenda based on lies laced with a kernel of truth or half truths. A fallacies with enough truth to not only convince you but also invoke an emotional reaction to overwhelm reason thru logical consequence. To me it represents a truly dangerous path that leads to only misery, isolation, and eventually despair for those who take it.

It is my hope that those who fight against the inevitable change, can see that we can coexist. We can move into an era of acceptance and still maintain many of the freedoms we’ve come to love. As previously mentioned, we might lose some of it for a generation, but it will spring back. And lastly, I beg of you, please your case, cause, agenda, desire, etc w/integrity of purpose thru reason of logic and truth. Do not succumb to irrational fears based on selfishness.

As always, hope springs eternal. . .




  1. One of the basic tenants of logic []
  2. I say our because differences aside, we are still a community IMO []