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Archive for December, 2013

December 30th, 2013

Blog Going Down For Upgrade Soon…

One of the things I wanted to do over my holiday vacation is upgrade the blog to the latest version of WordPress.  As I have some custom code in there it isn’t the most straightforward of processes.  But I have this entire site copied over to my household network and I can always go back if there is a major problem.  I’m just giving you this heads-up because it may not come back for a while when I do it….probably over the New Years holiday sometime when everyone is too hung over to be web surfing.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Blog Going Down For Upgrade Soon…

December 27th, 2013

A Coming Out Story…Why, Has It Been A Year And A Half Already?

I just this morning finished the pencils on an episode of A Coming Out Story that’s more than a tad out of sequence…about four episodes after the story arc I’ve been trying to start since…oh…almost a year ago. (sigh) But it got me started again.  The story arc that’s supposed to start appearing next is the flashback to the sex ed class I had back in junior high…it was eighth grade, 1968…I can verify that because I still have my old year books and one of the gym teachers that taught it was only there when I was in eighth grade.  The guy I’m drawing is a composite of him and several other awful gym teachers I had over the years.  I can’t emphasize this enough: everyone in the story except me is either disguised or a composite of several people.  This is particularly true of the object of my affections.  I don’t want anyone embarrassed by things they did ages ago, in what was practically another world when it came to understanding sexual orientation.

The story arc after that one is an imaginary conversation with God.  Both these story arcs serve to get the times I grew up in and my frame of mind during adolescence more fully understood.  But I don’t want to post them out of order.  After these two mini story arcs then the action moves back into the main story arc and I’m at a football game taking photos for the student newspaper, and I go to the snack tent to grab something to eat only to discover You Know Who is working the snack tent.  I’ve been looking forward to drawing this part for literally years now.

It’s taken me a long time to fully appreciate that I’ve got my most creative energy in the morning. The thing about those of use who don’t or can’t earn a living by our artwork is we have regular jobs and that takes time away from the work of doing art.  And the problem with that for most of us is during the work week you try to do things in the evenings after work and that just doesn’t work.  Unless you’re a night person, brain does not function at the levels required then.

This holiday stay-at-home vacation has really driven this point home for me:  I am at my best creatively in the morning.  So I need to work on anything that requires that kind of thinking and concentration at the beginning of my day, and schedule the follow-through, or routine or drudge work in the afternoons. I do it this way I get tons of stuff done. I was already trying this at work, since a lot of what I do there in terms of programming and system engineering is a kind of creative thinking.  So I schedule my day to hopefully do the creative stuff in the morning and then the follow-up and routine stuff in the afternoon and I get a lot done.

But this holiday vacation I’m really seeing it. I get up and go down to the art room and do some work and leave the cleaning chores I’d planned for the afternoon and lo and behold I actually get things done.  What I need to do is get up early so I can have an hour at my drafting table before I go in.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Coming Out Story…Why, Has It Been A Year And A Half Already?

December 23rd, 2013

To My Readers…

Folks stumble across this little internet space of mine now and then and a few stick around and I reckon I have to keep posting this so there aren’t any misunderstandings, particularly about the blog.

This is a life blog. I started doing this before blogging became a thing, before it became a legitimate alternative to the pop media and corporate news services, before it became a kind of citizen journalism.  ‘Blog’ back in the early days of the World Wide Web, was a kind of shorthand/slang for ‘Web Log’…little online diaries people posted on their personal web sites in the days before you could update your status on Facebook.  The first blogs, started by artists, who were thought by some to be crazy putting their entire lives out there for the whole world to see, were just artistic experiments.  Then it became a thing.  Particularly during the Bush presidency, and the Iraq war, as people became frustrated and angry with the mainstream news services.  Nowadays, many blogs are topical, political, outlets of citizen journalism.

But this is not that kind of site.  This is a life blog.  It is my life blog.  I vent a lot here about politics, but I am a gay man, who grew up during the cold war, and even worse, lived most of my life in the suburbs of Washington D.C., which isn’t exactly known for its rural pastoral arcadian lifestyle…

No, Seriously.  I did my duck and cover drills in elementary school.  I listened to the monthly tests of the air raid siren behind the apartment complex mom and I lived in.  I did my pre-induction physical six months before Nixon ended the Vietnam war.  I remember sitting at the desk in my underwear with a few dozen other guys filling out this form that asked things like were we ever communists, wondering if I should check the box that asked if I was a homosexual.  I lived through the counter-culture wars in the 1960s.  I marched and took photos at the Nixon Counter Inaugural. I came out to myself on December 15 1971 somewhere between 4 and 5PM. I have marched in every gay rights march on Washington since the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979.  I wandered among the panels of the Names Project quilt when it was first unveiled on the Washington Mall in 1987, terrified that I would find one with the name of a certain someone I first fell in love with once upon a time there among them.

So I tend to vent a lot about politics here.  But this is not a political blog.  It is a life blog.  I put stuff here on the blog, mostly for the same reason I post my cartoons and photography elsewhere on this site. I am an artist. It sounds pretentious to say it, but there is no way to understand my frame of mind at any given time without understanding that I have this powerful need to Get It Out Of Me regardless of who cares or who even understands.  Mostly I do graphic art.  Sometimes words come out.  The Internet is just another way I have of putting my stuff out there.  It is not and does not function as an online publication of some kind.  It is a life blog.  Think of this place as being slightly retro…like it’s owner.  Matter of fact, apart from this blog, the rest of this site is all hand coded by me in simple HTML.  Yes, I’m a computer geek too.  That’s how I earn my living.  That’s where the artist and the Internet meet.

I have comment moderation turned on, not so much to regulate the content here but to keep spammers out of the comments.  For every real comment I get here I also get about 50 – 100 spam comments.  These are posted just to raise the rankings of a particular web site in the search engines and there’s no easy way to filter them out.  This is why we can’t have nice things.  My email box is even worse.  Send me an email and I might not even see it in the torrent of spam.  But this is not an online publication, it’s a life blog.  If you post a comment here or send me an email it might not show up for a while…maybe even a long while.  That might be because I’m not paying close attention to the blog because I am occupied elsewhere in my life, or it might be because I want to read it over carefully and post a response.

I don’t particularly care if you need to tell me why something I posted here is wrong.  I might argue or I might just eventually post your comment and say nothing. I might even agree I was wrong, or at least clumsy.  But I won’t endure a long heated argument either.  Obviously outright abuse won’t get posted, but I seldom get that here for some reason, probably because a troll wants a bigger audience than just me and the few regulars here.

This isn’t a political forum.  I am not a citizen journalist.  I am a software engineer for the Space Telescope Science Institute.  I am a computer geek.  I am a technology nerd.  I am a science geek. I am a photographer.  I am a cartoonist, I do political cartoons for Baltimore OutLOUD. I am a painter.  Sometimes I write stories.  I am an artist.  This is my life blog.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on To My Readers…

December 19th, 2013

The Atheist And Christmas Music

I’m sitting at my desk listening to Christmas music.  Specifically, to my Pandora app on my iPhone. Pandora has a “Peaceful Holidays” channel and I love it.  The music lifts me, soothes my soul, brings back old and very pleasant memories of Christmases past.  Back in the day I would set the family manger scene under the Christmas tree.  I was the good Baptist boy.  Nowadays if I bother with the tree (the holidays aren’t the best of times for us single people) I use my manger figures to make a little middle ages town. (Funny isn’t it, how the people of Jesus’ day all dressed like people from middle ages Europe.) But even if I don’t put out the decorations, I have Christmas music playing softly on the stereo. I inherited all mom’s LPs, and treasure the Christmas ones especially. So how does the atheist I’ve become in my old age listen to this essentially religious music and still enjoy it so very much?  See…there’s a thing about music: it’s not about the lyrics.  Let me reach back into my blog archives, and tell you a story…

It is 1981, and I am a longhaired twenty-something out for a hike along the trails around Sugerloaf Mountain near Comus, Maryland. I am alone, with one of the new Sony Walkmans as my only company. I am well into my Bruckner phase, and in the Walkman is a cassette I’d recorded the previous day with his Symphony 8 and the Te Deum. Some say that title was a tad redundant for a Bruckner piece…that everything he ever wrote could have easily been subtitled, as he had in the dedication to his ninth symphony, To My Beloved God…

It is September, my birth month, and the air is clear and crisp as it only gets in the Washington D.C. suburbs during the beginning of spring and fall. The sky is a deep cobalt blue, flecked here and there with threads of high cirrus clouds. I walk lightly with a branch I found at the trail head like a staff, my hiking boots clomping over a narrow trail that winds through the woods, around and up the mountain to a little park on it’s summit. As I walk a pair of headphones fill my world with wonderful, evocative, richly textured symphonic classical music. I am in love with my Walkman. It lets me fill my world with music, yet bother no one else. Years later, I would rediscover that love in a little white iPod.

I reach the top of the mountain. The little park is empty. It is just me and Bruckner. I plop myself down on a rocky ledge that faces south toward the Shenandoah valley. It is a lovely view. In the distant haze I see the northern end of the Shenandoah mountains reach toward the horizon, and go over it in a procession of gently curved peaks. Several turkey vultures are in the sky below me, circling idly on a random updraft. Through the rolling hills of the Maryland Piedmont the Potomac river glistens in the late afternoon sunlight. A ribbon of smoke floats eastward from the smokestack at the Monocacy river power plant.

I take it all in, and Bruckner’s deeply spiritual music seems to make the very air around me sing. Life is good. It is awesome.

The music ends, and I take off the headphones. There are people behind me.

I turn to find that my quiet spot has been invaded by a crowd of picnickers. I figure them for a church group, since the boys still have their Sundaywear on, and their hair slicked down. Only somewhat more disturbing than the fact that a crowd of people were able to get behind me while I was listening to the music, is this kindly older lady sitting only a few feet from me: she is looking straight at me with that expression that at 27 I’ve come to know and love…

Incoming proselytize!

She smiles a sincerely transparent smile at me, and says, “That must be very nice music you’re listening to. What is it?”

I am dressed in cutoffs and a Hudson Bay Outfitters t-shirt. My hair is about as long as it gets, almost halfway down my back. I have my blue bandanna tied around my head, 70s fashion with the ends of the knot trailing down just behind my left ear. I am in my golden earring and lambda necklace stage of outedness. My friends tell me I have this perpetually bewildered look on my face when talking to strangers, and I know a hook when I hear it, but I look her in the eyes and answer her question seriously. “The Te Deum, by Anton Bruckner, Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic.”

Her eyes glaze over. We stare at each other for about a second. Then the kindly smile reappears and she says to me in all seriousness, “That’s very nice, but I think on the Sabbath we should listen to music that praises God…don’t you?”

That does it… I get up, nearly dropping the walkman, and start walking back to the trail. Behind me I hear the woman say, “Where are you going?”

“Into town to buy some.” I reply, walking faster.

I’d seen the lyrics to that Bruckner piece once on an album back cover and they disappointed me, Christian though I still identified at the time. And I think it was then that I resolved never to read the lyrics of classical music pieces that I discovered and loved.  I still try to avoid it. Michael Nesmith once said on one of his album covers that the lyrics were only the logical part, that the meaning was the music itself.

I am not an atheist because I have a grudge against religion, I’m an athiest simply because I discovered I’d reached a point where belief had stopped making sense to me.  But many things I learned and experienced in church I still hold close to the heart.  I still find myself humming some of the old hymns while doing chores.  And Christianity has produced wonderful, deeply spiritual music. When it’s done from that place of love and awe, all art, even the darkest, speaks a universal language, deep, soulful, and spiritual.  It is a place where we can recognize one another, and our common humanity.

If the lyrics add something to the music for you, then fine. If not, then never mind the damn lyrics. They’re just the logical part, for those of us who have trouble sometimes, seeing the heart.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Atheist And Christmas Music

December 17th, 2013

‘Tis That Christmas Story Season…

Well…there’s a baby in the manger one, which a lot of good people still hold dear.  I have a different one in mind.  This just came across my Facebook stream…

17 December 1843 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, was published.

I saw it and immediately thought the artist had captured both Scrooge and the entire Dickens story perfectly.  This is one of the better representations of Scrooge I’ve ever seen, and you see a lot of them this time of year. Most of the time what you get is a caricature, an easy to dismiss stereotype. I hear the 1938 movie version with Reginald Owen is well liked, but the first serious telling of the story I ever saw was the George C. Scott version and I still find that the better one. In it, Scrooge is a business man of his day and age and when he says the poor had better die soon and decrease the surplus population you feel it as Dickens meant it to be felt, that this is a man who is probably very good at business, but has lost his soul.

There’s the old story of the birth of Jesus.  There’s other’s like Amahl and the Night Visitors, also a favorite of mine once upon a time.  There’s It’s A Wonderful Life.  But for me the meaning of the season is best seen in A Christmas Carol.  You just have to get past all the cardboard Scrooges.  If I were doing a film version of it today, I’d make him an American financier, and change not a word of dialogue or action, and it would make you cringe for the soul of this man.

[Update…]  It was the Alastair Sim version I was thinking of, as the first of the believable Scrooges, not the MGM Reginald Owen one.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on ‘Tis That Christmas Story Season…

December 13th, 2013

Milepost On The Road To Baba Yar

This, via Towleroad…

Popular Russian Actor Applauded After Announcing He Would Like To Burn All Gays Alive

Popular Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin was cheered by an audience this week after announcing that he would like to burn all gays alive, Queer Russia reports:

Said Okhlobystin:

“I myself would shove all live gays into furnace. This is Sodom and Gomorrah, I as a beliver in God can not treat this indifferently, this is a live threat to my kids!… I do not want my kids to think that faggots are normal. This is lavender fascism.”

Lavender fascism, as opposed to systematically murdering a hated minority which is a sacrament…

If you think it’s bad in Russia now, wait until after the Olympics, when it will be easier for the world to look the other way.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Milepost On The Road To Baba Yar


Political Vaporware

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

The Heritage Uncertainty Principle

Conservative health-care-policy ideas reside in an uncertain state of quasi-existence. You can describe the policies in the abstract, sometimes even in detail, but any attempt to reproduce them in physical form will cause such proposals to disappear instantly… It’s not so much an issue of “hypocrisy,” as Klein frames it, as a deeper metaphysical question of whether conservative health-care policies actually exist.

The question should be posed to better-trained philosophical minds than my own. I would posit that conservative health-care policies do not exist in any real form. Call it the “Heritage Uncertainty Principle.”

I take the name of this principle from the emblematic example, the Heritage Foundation’s health-care plan, which formed the primary intellectual basis for conservative opposition to Democratic health-care plans. In 1993, Republican minority leader Bob Dole supported a version of it to demonstrate that Republicans did not endorse the status quo, until Democrats, facing the demise of their own plan, tried to bring up Dole’s plan, at which point Dole renounced his own plan…

In my profession we have a name for this: Vaporware. How it works is, startup company ‘A’ introduces an amazingly inventive software product that instantly attracts the attention of consumers and investors. Established company ‘B’ sees a loss of marketshare ahead, so it announces its own new product…not quite ready for the market just yet…but Real Soon Now…that will be Even Better than company ‘A’s product. This announcement has the effect of making consumers hold off buying startup company ‘A’s product while they wait for the release of company ‘B’s product at which point they will decide between them. But company ‘B’s product does not actually exist, even in alpha form, let alone pre-release beta. So startup company ‘A’ is unable to sell its product and it loses money and investors go away and eventually it goes out of business. And thus, established company ‘B’ has driven a potential threat to its dominance out of business without ever having to produce something of its own.

Eventually established company ‘B’ releases a product vastly inferior to what the now bankrupt startup would have produced, and which exists not to serve a customer need, but only to further preserve company ‘B’s market share.

Understand this: Most republican ideas exist only to prevent enactment of policies that threaten the status quo. They put these proposals out there as a way to get people to stop talking about things that actually stand a chance of being enacted and actually helping improve life for most Americans. Now…you might ask yourself why they don’t just debate the democrat’s policy initiatives seriously, in good faith, honestly, from their own political perspective. If they think Big Government is so bad, if further empowering the state over the lives of Americans is such a dangerous threat to American’s liberty, why not try to convince the voters of this in an honest, straightforward way, instead of offering up deceptive tactical proposals they don’t seriously mean?  So what if their policies aren’t popular with the voters? You can’t change their minds of you don’t give them a reason to, and you think your reasons are better than the democrat’s…right?  And better for the country to have an honest debate about the role of government than a dishonest one.

You might be asking yourself this, because you still think republicans seriously believe in Small Government, and give a good goddamn about the country. But no…small government and patriotism are just more republican political vaporware.  A party that enthusiastically believes in the right of the state to regulate the private sexual conduct of consenting adults isn’t exactly interested in getting government off the backs of the people. A party that keeps coming close to bringing the nation into default on its bonds like it doesn’t give a crap about what would happen if that happened isn’t exactly interested in putting the welfare of the nation first. No. For them to have had an honest debate over healthcare would have meant them telling the voters straight up that they are the party of plutocracy and employer based healthcare is a good way of trapping workers into into dead end low paying jobs and the poor had better die and decrease the surplus population.

Think of republican healthcare proposals not as actual proposals to improve the healthcare of Americans, but as spikes scattered across the road to better healthcare for Americans. This is actually why a lot of libertarian policies get talked up a lot too by the way.  Right wingers have found a treasure trove of useful idiots in Libertarianville and it’s why you see Tea Partiers talking up a lot of libertarian ideas about small government and “free market solutions”. Take for example the counter proposal to same-sex marriage, that government get out of the business of marriage altogether. It isn’t seriously offered, it’ll never happen, it’s vaporware designed to derail talk about same-sex marriage and discrimination against gays and get the conversation bogged down in something else.

by Bruce | Link | React! (4)

December 10th, 2013

Yes Actually, Religious Freedom Means You Have To Treat All Your Customers Equally

Another day, another Fox News martyr in the homosexual war on Christians…

The first civil rights laws, so I hear, were passed not to protect black people or red or yellow people, but to protect Irish Catholics in New York from the religious passions of their protestant neighbors. And in point of fact, religious freedom is only possible where government does not take sides in religious disputes and where the rule of law protects minorities from the hostility of others, whether or not that hostility is motivated by religious passions.

Jack Phillips is not a martyr, he is a bigot attacking the rule of law because it grants people he loathes a little human dignity.  Okay…fine…but in the eyes of the law he can be no different from a bar owner who would like very much to keep selling beer to teenagers because it makes him money, and who regards laws against selling alcohol to minors as an infringement on his freedom to do business as he pleases without regard to the consequences to the rest of the community.  The law does not, can not, care what the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips are, only whether as a businessman he’s abiding by the same rules everyone else has to live by, or whether he’s a greedy predator, caring not whether he tears his community apart in the process of making a buck, just so he can pick through and live quite nicely off the wreckage.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Yes Actually, Religious Freedom Means You Have To Treat All Your Customers Equally


The Persistence Of The Closet…(continued)

Slate today runs an article riffing on the New York Times article I linked to yesterday. They headline theirs The American Closet Is Bigger Than We Thought.  I assume the ‘we’ in that headline is “heterosexuals’, with maybe a side of ‘those of us also in the closet’, because you don’t live in this country as a gay person without seeing or at least glimpsing that vast nation of the closeted first hand. No kidding there’s more of them than you thought…

But if that Times article helps the heterosexual majority to see, really see, the damage that was done, and is still being done, then good.  Seems a lot of folks are noticing that bit in the Times article, about wives in less tolerant states checking Google for advice on whether their husbands are gay. But there was also this…

Craigslist lets us look at this from a different angle. I analyzed ads for males looking for “casual encounters.” The percentage of these ads that are seeking casual encounters with men tends to be larger in less tolerant states. Among the states with the highest percentages are Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama.

Back in the 1980s, what I think of as the BBS days, I did volunteer work for a gay community BBS whose creator intended it not to be a hookup site but a serious information and educational resource for gay people.  He realized back then, as I did when I connected to those first primitive amateur computer networks, what they could do for us as a people.  The BBS advertised in the local gay newspaper, and I think in one of the alternative City Papers, and the ads included a phone number for help getting connected.  He told us he would get desperate phone calls on that number in the middle of the night, from men who’d been caught in police vice stings…trolling the parks or some public lavatory…needing emergency legal advice.  He said without exception, without exception, those men were all married, and none of then identified as gay.  At least, they wouldn’t over the course of that phone call.  That was the 1980s.

It’s still going on…

One could leave these findings angry at all these men for not coming out, but Stephen-Davidowitz’s concluding anecdote—about a retired professor who has been married to a woman for 40 years and “regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions”—articulates my overwhelming emotion: sadness.

That’s fine, but anger is still a good reaction to have and I hope the heterosexual majority cultivates it…not at the closeted, but at the Righteous and the Upstanding who keep teaching young gay people to hate themselves, so that they can have scapegoats, someone to gloat over, so they don’t have to look at their own failures of moral character. Be angry at them. Ask yourselves what kind of person turns anyone’s basic human need for intimate companionship against them, makes them deeply ashamed, even fearful, of their own human heart…

Sometimes even I get tired of looking at aggregate data, so I asked a psychiatrist in Mississippi who specializes in helping closeted gay men if any of his patients might want to talk to me. One man contacted me. He told me he was a retired professor, in his 60s, married to the same woman for more than 40 years.

About 10 years ago, overwhelmed with stress, he saw the therapist and finally acknowledged his sexuality. He has always known he was attracted to men, he says, but thought that that was normal and something that men hid. Shortly after beginning therapy, he had his first, and only, gay sexual encounter, with a student of his in his late 20s, an experience he describes as “wonderful.”

He and his wife do not have sex. He says that he would feel guilty ever ending his marriage or openly dating a man. He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions.

He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions… What kind of person does this to another, takes pride in doing it, and can look in a mirror and see a righteous person?  Look at that.  Really look at it.  It’s okay to get angry after looking down into that Pit.  But don’t look into it for too long, because Nietzsche was right about an abyss gazing back into you.  Just remember what you saw the next time you hear one of them yapping about their sincerely held religious beliefs.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Persistence Of The Closet…(continued)

December 8th, 2013

The Persistence Of The Closet

Via John Becker at Bilerico, I see this New York Times article on that age old preoccupation of the heterosexual majority, How Many American Men Are Gay?

What percent of American men are gay? This question is notoriously difficult to answer. Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent. But somewhere in the exabytes of data that human beings create every day are answers to even the most challenging questions…

While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story.

This is probably where the answers come from, finally. Because it was true before Stonewall, it was true in the post Stonewall gay lib phase, and it’s still true now, that many gay people will simply not tell even anonymous surveys the truth about themselves, let alone tell themselves the truth…

Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”

Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states…in fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

This is unbearably sad. I’ve said before that for a lot of gay people in my generation it will always be a time before Stonewall.  But it’s Still happening.  And unsurprisingly, it’s happening where the ideal of married life is being systematically denied to gay people.

How I escaped this trap is part of the story I’m telling in A Coming Out Story. But I came out into a world where the soulmate, the beautiful lifelong love story, was almost impossible to find. I still haven’t found it and now I’m 60, and looking at the end of a lifetime of being alone, not having that intimate other.  And that was not, as the stereotype would have you believe, because gay culture was and is obsessed with casual no-strings attachment free sex, but because so many gay men who would have been searching for the same things I was, were instead desperately searching for a way not to be gay.

We were taught…By The Righteous…to believe that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  And for many gay men as it also is for many heterosexual men, that’s just dandy. But for others it meant, and still means, “a huge amount of secret suffering”.  We believed because we were taught…By The Good People, the Decent Upstanding Citizens we looked up to…that homosexuality was a tragic psychological perversion, a denial of normal healthy functioning heterosexuality.  We were taught, not by gay culture but by heterosexual culture…that to be a homosexual was to be trapped in a hopeless cycle of empty sex searching for fulfillment we would never find.  We were weak contemptible faggots, or we were dangerous sexual psychopaths.  What we never were was people in love.  The first crush, the first date, the prom, the Big Question. None of it was ours to have. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.

For some people that life of casual sex and serial loves is just fine. They live, they love, they go their separate ways, they remember fondly and are remembered fondly. But other hearts have other needs.  And for those, to be told that the One Love, the soulmate, the intimate other, is not possible, is a heartache that never heals. It is always there, just below the surface. You would do anything to make it not so. Because without that intimate other, life is so very very desperately lonely.

…in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

So many hearts that could have found their beloved other, instead locked themselves in the closet and watched their love lives wither away to graveyard dust all the same. But at least nobody knew their terrible secret…that their desires were foul, that they were unfit for love.  So many hearts turned finally to stone, so the righteous could make their stepping stones to heaven out of our dreams of love.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Persistence Of The Closet

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