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October 1st, 2022

What Is The Cost Of Lies?

“…It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What is left but to abandon even the hope of truth and content ourselves instead…with stories. In these stories it doesn’t matter who the heroes are. All we want to know is who is to blame.”


This. All this.

Posted In: Life Thumping My Pulpit
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 25th, 2022

Evil Twink Energy

Short review of “Bad Gays” by Lemmey and Miller in the current Gay & Lesbian Review (formerly the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review), brings to mind a question that taps me on the shoulder every now and then.

Given the human gutter Oscar Wilde’s boy toy Lord Alfred Douglas belly flopped into after Wilde’s death I wonder if, had Wilde exercised some common sense and not risen to Douglas’ father’s bait (his father was the “vile Tempered” Marquess of Queensberry John Sholto Douglas) and his boy toy’s own encouragement, and simply ignored the accusation or given it one of his famous bon mots rather than suing for slander with the end result he ends up imprisoned and dies broke, would Douglas have slid into the vicious fascist human gutter he did? I like to think loving Wilde would have kept him out of all that. But alas at age 69 the logical analytical side of my brain isn’t having it.

The authors of this book say Douglas had “evil twink energy”. I’ve read what I can about him, curious about the beauty Wilde fell for, and, yeah, evil twink about sums him up. But could Wilde, had the trial never happened, either led Douglas to a better place, or was that simply where Douglas was headed all along and eventually Wilde just leaves him for another pretty youngling without that streak of evil.

Or was Wilde always doomed to be attracted to pretty boys with that evil streak in them? And sooner or later one of them, if not Douglas again somehow, gets him into more trouble than his wit could get him out of?

Marquess of Queensberry is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, and by that reckoning Lord Alfred Douglas was, well, a lord. Of sorts I suppose. And Wilde but a mere playwright and story teller. But Wilde was the better man and there’s a lesson here not simply about beauty being only skin deep, but about how not dating below your station isn’t actually about social classes, but, well, class.

Posted In: Life

by Bruce | Link | React!

Fear Of Dating, Fear Of Intimacy

For some reason so I’m told, Jeffrey Dahmer was trending on commercial social media, which prompted a repost of this powerful essay by Dan Savage from 2018…

You should go read it. This, among other things (that “worse was yet to come” he mentions), is a reason why so many of us had trouble dating, finding and holding on to love. Where most heterosexuals could have that usual coming of age experience in adolescence, and dating and going to the prom and that first wonderful life affirming sweet romance…

“Once upon a time, there was a girl I knew, who lived across the street. Brown hair, brown eyes. When she smiled, I smiled. When she cried, I cried. Every single thing that ever happened to me that mattered, in some way had to do with her. That day, Winnie and I promised each other that no matter what, that we’d always be together. It was a promise full of passion and truth and wisdom. It was the kind of promise that can only come from the hearts of the very young.” -Narrator, The Wonder Years

…what we came of age into was a world where reaching out to another might likely get you killed.

I’m almost ashamed to say that while I get how scared he was, reading this essay I’m also very envious of the adolescence he had. I’m sure he doesn’t think it was all that wonderful.  But he was out to himself at 14. He could be out to himself at 14. Terrifying as it probably was. When I was 14 Stonewall hadn’t happened yet and only one state, Illinois had repealed its sodomy law, and that almost by accident. I came of age in total ignorance of what was happening with me as my body developed and I started having sex dreams about other guys at school. It made no sense given what the pop culture told me about homosexuals. So I just never really looked at it, just shoved it into a back corner of my mind and didn’t think too deeply about it. I wasn’t out to myself until December of 1971 and I had just turned 18.

But what really makes me envious here is he had a bunch of gay friends he could talk to and socialize with. Oh dear god almighty how I wish I’d had that! That didn’t happen until I got connected with a gay BBS back in the mid 1980s and I was in my thirties. From my teens to my mid thirties I was completely isolated. And partly that was due to the fears Savage speaks of. But also, the world I was living in didn’t exactly offer gay guys any spaces to socialize, and maybe find a date, other than seedy bars I never felt completely at ease inside of.

I was looking for romance, not a hook-up. As I wrote previously…

…what I was always looking for was that nice boy…someone in a better world that I might have met at a church social or youth coffeehouse like The Lost and Found was. Someone I could take home to mom and she’d be pleased to meet them and invite them to stay for dinner. Someone I’d take to the prom. Someone I could make a life together with.

But I came of age in the late 60s/early 70s, and back then all those nice boys were terrified. They didn’t want their families to hate them. They didn’t want their friends turning on them. They were terrified of getting those looks of disgust. And it’s all the negative crap we were dumped on back then that’s a big part of why…

But simply because I wasn’t looking for the casual hookup does not mean I wasn’t afraid, and constantly on the alert for trouble. So I’m not questioning his fears at all. I had many of the same ones, just a bit different only in the social context and my own life history. In 9th grade I had this horrible sex ed class taught by homophobic gym teachers who said that homosexuals were psychotic and usually killed their sex partners, and that most unsolved murders were committed by homosexuals. (I wished ever since that I’d had the presence of mind to ask if they’re unsolved how to you know they were committed by homosexuals?)

When I fell in love and came out to myself I brushed all that away as rubbish, but the overwhelming hatred and loathing of gay people I grew up with made me skittish for decades about expressing an interest in the random guys that caught my fancy, even in the gayborhood. How do you negotiate flirting in a world where you might get a baseball bat over the head for it? Guys that seemed to be flirting with me made me nervous because I never knew if they were serious or just waiting for me to come out to them so they could gay bash me. 

She said in a level voice yes, Jack was pumping up a flat on the truck out on a back road when the tire blew up. The bead was damaged somehow and the force of the explosion slammed the rim into his face, broke his nose and jaw and knocked him unconscious on his back. By the time someone came along he had drowned in his own blood.

No, he thought, they got him with the tire iron.

-Annie Proulx – Brokeback Mountain

They didn’t have to be serial killers. I’d be just as dead.

I was never pretty enough or brazen enough to attract the sort of predators that haunted Dan Savage’s adolescence, and I wasn’t out to myself for most of mine anyway. In my childhood I heard lots of news accounts of boys being abducted by strangers and so I had a more generalized fear of strange men approaching me and I would always flinch away if I got a look that made me uncomfortable. Back then I had no idea Why they wanted to kidnap boys (I am serious here), just that it was a thing to watch out for. That probably segued into my post out of the closet mindset in some way. So I never got over being nervous when some guy started flirting with me. Half of it was “Okay now what do I do?” and half if it was “Is this guy a gay basher…or worse?” Reading crime stories like the one about the Last Call murders didn’t do anything to help.

Yes, I was afraid too. But…oh dear god how envious I am that Savage had gay friends his own age he could hang out with. Dan I am so sorry you were afraid. I was too. We all were. And it cut into us so very deep. But you had something good back then too. Something life saving even.


Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 24th, 2022

The Dark Secrets Here Are Fun

Saw this the other day and had a laugh, then thought about it some more…

Maryland isn’t exactly northeast so it doesn’t really fit in the chart below. But I can invent a secret, but not so dark maybe.

Maryland was known as the “Free State” for its general defiance of prohibition (Maryland was the only state among the then-48 to decline to pass an enabling law to back up the federal Volstead Act). There were probably dozens of speakeasies in Baltimore city during the 1920s. So I’m thinking there’s a story here somewhere, involving a phantom speakeasy that randomly appears in some off the beaten path corner of the nightlife, patronized by young at heart jazz age spirits who just never wanted the party to end.

Modern day revelers chance upon a door down an alley they’d never noticed before and think, hey here’s a new spot, let’s check it out. But the door is locked and when they knock a peep hole slides open and a gravelly voice asks “who sent you?” and they laugh and someone pulls a name out of thin air that just happens to be the right one and the door opens and they’re led down some narrow stairs to a basement…and into an amazing jazz age space with flappers and a stage with a jazz band and singers and waiters all dressed formally and the Bourbon is they best they’ve ever had and so is the beer and there is Real Absinthe served here and genuine Cuban cigars and they think they’re in a cosplay of some sort but they go with it and have a wonderful time. The best night out they’ve ever had.

Next time they try to find it, the door is ajar and they look inside and the place is a vacant dusty wreak. It looks like it hasn’t been occupied in a hundred years. So they ask an old man who happened to be passing by what happened to that really cool nightclub that was here and he says oh…you mean the Winking Owl? Oh that was a speakeasy back in my granddad’s day. They say it was the best on the east coast, even better than the Stork Club. Fitzgerald came here, and Mencken was a regular. But it’s long gone. That basement’s been empty since I was a youngster.

And then the old man’s voice drops a bit, as if sharing a secret. But, he says, they say when the spirits on the other side really get the joint jumping it appears again, right where it was, and if you walk past a just the right moment, and if you’re lucky and Moe lets you in the door, you get the best night out ever.

Mid-Atlantic – In the old cities where the bright lights shine are ghosts from the jazz age, cutting the rug night after night in their phantom speakeasies. When the joint gets really jumping you might see a door appear in some dark alley where you didn’t notice one before. And if you happen to find yourself walking a strange lonely road deep in the rural zone you might pass a horse drawn wagon whose driver looks at you suspiciously. Give him a smile and pretend to tip a glass toward him and maybe he’ll give you a sample of his wares, and you’ll taste the best bourbon or beer you have ever had. These are the ghost wagons that bring the city’s phantom speakeasies rum, bourbon, beer and cigars, chased for all eternity by prohibition agents condemned to never catch them.


(Hat tip to Seanan McGuire, who educated me about the ghost roads…)

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 20th, 2022

Fem Boys Need Representation Too

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m fem, but I’m sure not butch either. That’s okay…

I don’t qualify as androgynous because I’m not pretty enough, but I am definitely not lumberjack material either. I got static nearly all my post puberty life for being more interested in art than sports, for wearing my hair long (hey hippy are you a boy or a girl…HAHAHAHAHA), for being a scrawny little dweeb and not wanting to fight anyone. And it’s taken me decades to finally give myself permission to wear the turquoise jewelry I love, dress a little better, wear more color, and not care how masculine or feminine I appear. But that static can come at you from all directions.

The fact is there are subsets of the gay family that really take a disliking to guys who aren’t anything less than 100 percent manly beefcake. I suppose that’s where their libido goes, which is fine, but do they have to bust on the androgynous guys for being…well…beautiful. I have a very picky libido, and it tends to alert on beautiful androgynous longhaired guys…which unsurprisingly tend to be the subjects of my sexy drawings. One day I showed this sketch to one of my (former) gay friends…

…who immediately snarked that he was one estrogen shot shy of a job at Hooters. Okay…fine…his libido doesn’t go there. Mine does. I don’t object to your fantasy material, kindly don’t object to mine. But I think there is an element of misogyny in this too that needs to be looked at. You’re either a Real Man, or you’re a pussy. A disappointing number of gay males fall for this…trap.

Believe me, I know how it is to be on the receiving end of that static. I know how it eats at you inside, how it makes you stifle yourself. And then how for years how you can find yourself struggling to cut your way out of that blanket of self censorship and just be Yourself, be the person you are. And I’m not really all that fem. Just not lumberjack material. But it’s been hard.

And it seems this mid-term election year, that Not Manly Enough males, and especially transgender kids and adults are in the crosshairs from the usual culture warriors who use hate to harvest votes. So it’s good that they get representation in the popular culture now, more than ever. Especially trans kids, who seem especially vulnerable in the red states now. And especially in any subset of American pop culture where they’re routinely denigrated. Like in video games for instance. I get that. And I approve. Mostly.

But fem and trans are not the same things. This is why you support trans kids with things like counseling specific to their needs, and puberty blockers if that’s necessary, and trans adults with necessary drugs and surgeries, so they’re not always feeling like they’re in the wrong body. But you support little fem boys by letting them wear their dresses if they want, and put on makeup if they want, or however they need to be, just as girlish as they want to be.

I would expect that the Venn Diagram of Androgynous

…and transgender…

…probably has a lot of overlap, as the symbols for each of them suggest. But they are not the same things. And it’s offensive to suggest they are. And fem boys, whether plain faced  (like me) boys next door or beautiful androgynous boys, get enough static from excessively testosteroned males and their Karens. They don’t need it from people who ought to be their natural allies. 

Where I’m going with all this: If there is any hill not worth dying on, it’s arguments about the pronouns of characters in video games. Ultimately it strikes me a lot like arguing about the race of mermaids in Disney movies. So I’ll just put this out here: Fem Boys Need Representation Too.

Please don’t take it from them. And from all of us, even those of us who don’t quite qualify as fem, Because we need to know we are part of the human family too.

And that is all I have to say.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 19th, 2022

Another Reason To Be Out

Everyone has their type. In retrospect what I was always looking for was that nice boy…someone in a better world that I might have met at a church social or youth coffeehouse like The Lost and Found was. Someone I could take home to mom and she’d be pleased to meet them and invite them to stay for dinner. Someone I’d take to the prom. Someone I could make a life together with.

But I came of age in the late 60s/early 70s, and back then all those nice boys were terrified. They didn’t want their families to hate them. They didn’t want their friends turning on them. They were terrified of getting those looks of disgust. And it’s all the negative crap we were dumped on back then that’s a big part of why…

From A Coming Out Story – Intermission – What I Learned About Homosexuality. . . And Myself (Part 2)


So I struggled to find romance and for me at least it just didn’t work. But I’ve seen it work for others, so at least I know it could have. But it was a real long shot given the time I was a gay teenager, and I missed. 

Another reason I am out with it: So what happened to me doesn’t have to happen to other gay kids.

Posted In: Life
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by Bruce | Link | React!

Why I Am Out

This came across my Facebook feed this morning…

Facebook user, JD Doyle kindly scanned its contents and posted on the LGBTQ Heritage/Memorial Project page with a link to a PDF of his scans Here, via the Houston LGBT History website. I browsed through some of it for a while, until it became too irritating to continue. As Doyle says, it is Not an amusing book.

A few days before our 50th class reunion, I had dinner with a classmate who had retired to Florida. He is class of ’73. I mentioned the 50th for ’72 and that I was on the reunion committee and so far the only one in my class willing to be out with it. He looked surprised. Our class size was comparatively small, but not so small there wouldn’t have been anyone else. You can’t possibly be the only one, he says to me. I told him either I’m the only one willing to be out with it, or (thinking of all the times I walked among the Names Project quilts) I’m the only one still alive.

But there was always crap like this book. Mind you, this is apparently published by a gay focused print house, supposedly for a gay audience. “ALL about the gay world! Promising much fun for Fruits, faggots, frumps and their friends – in short – nearly EVERYONE!”

“Pre-Liberation” as one commenter put it. Perhaps it’s what might be better understood as “Gaysploitation”. Someone said, Hey, the Gays will go for this! And so it went to print.

What you see in these pages was the world I came of age in. On TV and in the movies we were either dangerous psychopaths or we were pathetic faggots. When we didn’t get hate we got a rancid pity. It was why I spent my last grade school years in denial, even though I was crushing madly on a classmate. I kept thinking well that isn’t me, therefore I am not a homosexual. It’s something I’ve been documenting in A Coming Out Story.

I am certain it was crap like this that screwed up so many gay teenagers of my generation who still, so many years later, can’t bring themselves to live openly and proudly.

I joke often that I’m geek tribe gay, not fabulous peacock tribe. That I’m not stage I’m stage crew. The fact is we come in all shapes and sizes and colors of the rainbow. We are dazzling peacocks, we are socially awkward computer nerds, we are religious we are agnostics we are atheists, we are athletes we are Harry Homeowners tending our lawns, we are doctors, lawyers, clerks, homebodies. We Are.

And every time push abruptly comes to shove and I have to suddenly decide whether to be out with it or duck, it’s the pre-liberation stereotypes in this book that are tapping me on the shoulder. I know what my generation was taught to think of people like me. And so I dig in my heels one more time…

Yes I am. Whatever you might have been thinking that means, you probably need to think again.


Posted In: Life Thumping My Pulpit
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 18th, 2022

Notes On Being Retired (continued…)

I think I’m finally beginning to adjust to being retired. Or at least getting a good fix on what is different now. It is now (as I write this) the morning of September 18. Ever since September 3, the start of the Labor day weekend, I’ve been busy with my Florida Disney vacation, packing, getting myself and my car on the AutoTrain, shuffling from one hotel to the other, park passes, park reservation hell, dining reservation hell, further AutoTrain craziness, then back home and getting set up for the 50th class reunion, then going to the 50th class reunion…it was all wonderful. Except for dining reservation hell. But I was able to work around even that at the very last minute. I had a great time with all of it. Especially the 50th.

Now…I’m done with all that. No more travel, no more busy days until December. I’m actually looking forward to a couple months and a few weeks of free time. I’ve got stuff to do around the house, sure. Need to get set up for Halloween middle of next month. But all of that is At My Leisure. No hurries.

There’s being retired. It’s not having nothing to do, it’s having no hurries. You have buckets and buckets of time with no hurries in any of them.

Posted In: Life

by Bruce | Link | React!

50th Reunion – The Morning After (continued…)

Really living on the reunion afterglow this morning. It’s just so nice to be able to hang out with so many people who are on the same page as I am. People who, despite the different paths we have walked, share many of the same life experiences…

…like getting lost in the new Rockville. Classmate said he got lost trying to get to Montrose Road from where he lived back in the day. If you had lived in that neighborhood back in the ’70s you would understand how astonishing that is. 

Everyone I talked to about it agrees that Congressional Plaza is an abomination now. They took a lovely example of 60s mid century modern sandstone and glass architecture and paneled everything over and made it 21st century kitsch and it’s horrible.

I tried to do the place it once was justice on an episode of A Coming Out Story


Posted In: Life Woodward
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by Bruce | Link | React!

50th Reunion – The Morning After…

50th class reunion yesterday was amazing and wonderful. The crowd gathered around my Woodward photography slide show toward the end was especially gratifying.

Initially we were going to project it on a big screen but could not get the pre-HDMI projector to work with any of the connectors on my Mac. So we went with a large monitor instead, and my laptop next to it with the screen up and set for a two monitor display. That not only worked, it got the classmates to gather around the displays and talk to each other about what was in the photos, who was doing what, and generally what was happening back in the day. I don’t think any of that would have happened had people just been able to sit back and watch the slide show from their tables. It was such a blast reliving those images with everyone.

I haven’t felt this good inside in a long, Long time…

I’ll post more later…still just waking up…and I have to do some grocery shopping after my Disney vacation…

Posted In: Life Woodward
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 13th, 2022

How Nuclear Reactors And Democracies Fail

YouTube recently started feeding me clips from the HBO docu-drama series on Chernobyl. I’d never watched it or even knew of it, and the clips are mesmerizing, and especially every scene in it with Jared Harris’ Valery Legasov.

This exchange is brutal. Understand that this happens well after Legasov was at Chernobyl, and knows that the radiation he received there, even at the distance he was from the reactor, will kill him in a few short years. He is giving testimony as to what caused the explosion to party officials and he is a man who has nothing left to lose. He is going to tell the Party what it does not want to hear. Because he knows Chernobyl has killed him. Because he is not afraid of the Party anymore. Because it is the truth.

Judge Milan Kadnikov: Professor Legasov, if you mean to suggest the Soviet State is somehow responsible for what happened, then I must warn you, you are treading on dangerous ground.

Valery Legasov: I’ve already trod on dangerous ground. We’re on dangerous ground right now, because of our secrets and our lies. They are practically what define us. When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it is even there, but it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid. That is how an RBMK reactor core explodes. Lies.

This was pure gold. It’s meaning goes beyond Chernobyl:

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.

Trump. MAGA. Fox News. The election was stolen. January 6. Or if that isn’t good enough, just pick any of the other lies they’ve been waving in our faces. Your LGBT neighbors have had them yelled in our faces for decades. Every lie incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid. That is how democracy fails. That is how we fail as human beings. Lies.

Posted In: Thumping My Pulpit
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 9th, 2022

Disney Pride

I took my morning walk here in Disney Springs. I wanted to check out the Disney stores here just to see if any Pride stuff was still being sold. I began to wonder if Disney wasn’t pulling back on that a bit after I looked in the pin traders store and didn’t see any rainbows.

I shouldn’t have worried…

There was a Pride Collection stand in the Disney Store, right where everyone could see it, and it had customers. I have a card with money on it from points I’ve accumulated and just now I used up a little over half of my Disney Money. 

That mug especially gets to me. This isn’t cheap marketing. I was here a month after the Pulse murders. I saw the shock in everyone’s faces here and in the surrounding community of Orlando. It changed the mindset here.

Yes we are a market. Disney leaves no money on the table. But what happened at Pulse woke everyone up. 49 dead, 53 wounded. I saw how shocked Orlando was. I saw the shock in the Disney cast members. Some, seeing my rainbow Mickey pin (which back then was the Peace Rainbow, not the Pride rainbow…but it was close enough) had stories they told me about friends and co-workers who were either there that night, or knew someone who was. Everyone seemed shell shocked by it. There’s woke for you. After that, the Pride merchandise began appearing. No more take our money and look the other way. Now we are embraced.

We see you Ron DeSantis. We see you MAGA. Our families see you too. And all our friends. We are embraced. We are family. We Belong. You will never change that.

I was strolling around the Disney Springs Marketplace Co-Op and saw they’re busy with celebrating the Walt Disney World 50th with all sorts of call backs to the 70s. It just brought it all back again…that time in my life. I’d forgotten until I started coming back here again how much Disney’s vision of the future had been wired into me back then.

I complain about the changes going on around here, and Chapek’s seemingly bottomless need to squeeze the guests. But tell you what…as long I can walk into the parks knowing I’m with (mostly) other Disney kids, and it’s still a small world after all, and there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day, I reckon I’ll keep coming back.

My inner Mouseketeer, geeky, socially awkward, gay, knows he belongs here. It’s a small world after all.

Posted In: Life Politics Thumping My Pulpit Travel
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 8th, 2022

Free Tibet!

Hello Chinese censors and maintainers of the Great Firewall! I’ve been watching you crawl my blog for years and years. It makes me feel so special! Say…did any of those phish emails I got regularly at work come from you too? 

Anyway…I think it’s high time I welcomed you to my little corner of the Internet Tubes! 

The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it“. -John Gilmore. Internet activist, software programmer and contributor to the GNU project

Now fuck off. 


Keep Taiwan Free! 

Love, Bruce.

Posted In: Politics Thumping My Pulpit
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by Bruce | Link | React!
September 7th, 2022


From our The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same department…

Facebook helpfully gives me a memory from 2017 that involved a letter to the editor that I should have noted here too. So let me correct that now, and also for a few certain someones I know on both sides of the Gay/Straight divide who still don’t get it.

It was the first thing I saw in my custom Google LGBT news feed. It was an editorial, but more like an extended letter to the editor, in the Michigan Daily Journal titled “I’m Not Gay, I’m Normal”. It’s from a gay guy proudly proclaiming his normalcy against the great Gay Lifestyle of sex, drugs, glitter, and dance clubs. Wow. I hadn’t seen one of those in a while, and seeing this one that morning was almost kinda reassuring. In a time when proud of itself ignorance and laughing knuckle dragging jingoism are strutting around everywhere en mass, it’s oddly comforting to see the common everyday little jackass stupidities are still dutifully carrying on out there.

Listen to me: normal, in the sense you are using it, is a mirage. It insists that it’s something real but it is completely relative. Your Michigan (the writer’s) accent might seem perfectly normal in Michigan, but plop you in the deep south and everyone will notice that you talk funny. Suddenly you are not normal anymore. And yet, you are still you. Go back to Michigan, presto, normal again. Think you dress normal? Maybe for an American. Long hair? Short hair? Beard? Clean shaven? Christian? White? If normal was a point on a compass it would change directions every time you took a step.

And here’s the thing: if your problem with urban gay club culture is it seems shallow to you, consider that conforming to a chimera of normalcy is just as shallow. Taking your measure against something you are not is the embodiment of shallow. Never mind who you aren’t.

When I was a wee lad, just starting to take an interest in painting and drawing, I had an intuition that style was something more related to how your hand is wired to your brain than anything else, and to just let mine happen on its own. I worry about the mechanics of drawing, perspective, light, anatomy, that sort of thing. To the degree I worry about composition it’s how mine flow and what sort of emotion is evoked. My style is what it is.

That works for more than art. Your style of living has a lot to do with how your brain is wired, plus the experience you gather as you walk through life. Experience changes us, but it does its work on the bedrock of our flesh and blood biology. Forget normal. Be a decent person and let your style be whatever it is. And never forget that normal is just a passing coincidence. It’s not important. Decency is important.

I’ve seen this I’m Not Gay I’m Normal argument in one form or another over and over and over and over since the ’70s. And as someone who experiences being in a scene like it’s an itchy sweater, I can appreciate expressions of discomfort, even resentment, over being given one default scene you either fit into or you don’t. But that’s an illusion of choice. There are many scenes. Infinite variety. You will not fit into most of them. That’s okay. If you’re worrying about what scene you fit into you are worrying about the wrong thing.

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