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April 21st, 2024

Discreet? Not Exactly…

Many years ago a girl that a friend of mine was dating told me, approvingly, that I was a discreet homosexual. I replied that I was single and it is easy to be discrete about your love life when you don’t have one.

I blogged about my relationship with that family previously, and about when I finally realized that all the time I thought I was teaching them that gay guys were just another thread in the American quilt, and that liberty and justice for all thing applies to us too, they thought they were encouraging me to stifle myself and be discreet. It’s easier for some heterosexuals (not all) to accept a gay friend or family member provided they don’t have to ever see any specific evidence of their sexual orientation. Such as a boyfriend. Or the way a beautiful guy can jerk your eyes around and make you look, stunned. As long as they don’t have to see that, they’re fine with you.

One of my straight friends, from way, Way back, friended me on Facebook, and then promptly de-friended me. When I asked why he said he didn’t want all that gay stuff I was writing about on his Facebook page. Of course I wasn’t putting it on his page, but mine. The thing was that he saw it, because he’d friended me which meant he could see all the posts I marked as friends only, and he didn’t want to. 

It was like that whenever we spent time together. He could talk about his love life, but when I talked about mine, or rather my struggle just to simply have one, he would change the subject. I was okay for me to be his gay friend, so long as I wasn’t…you know…gay. 

Especially when all you can see about your LGBT neighbors in this life, is sex.

It is an old stereotype, that homosexuality has to do only with sex while heterosexuality is multifaceted and embraces love and romance. -Vito Russo

It’s on this website, in my artwork and on this blog, that you really see the shameless homosexual that I am. Which is not to say I am given to a lot of overt displays of sexuality here. My art gallery is full of sexy guys, but there is no pornography, which I consider just pushing buttons. I am not given to graphic descriptions of sex, even in my fiction. But there is no doubt that I like beautiful guys and that that same sex couples in my fiction are lovers. What makes me shameless is I really don’t think there is anything wrong with being homosexual. I am fine with this. I am not ashamed. 

Because once upon a time I fell in love with a classmate, a stunningly beautiful guy, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve written before it really was like something out of a Disney movie. I walked with a lighter step, the birds sang a little more sweetly, the skies were a little more blue, the stars shined a little more brightly. I was twitterpated. It was wonderful. There is no reason for me to be ashamed of that.

I can see how your average heterosexual might have some trouble grokking this. Sex is a basic drive inside of us, older than the fish, let alone the mammals, let alone the primates, let alone us, and our libidos are what they are. It either turns you on, or it turns you off. Fine. I get that. But you don’t have to obsess about the sex I might be having to appreciate that apart from that detail of sexual orientation my desires are not that different from anyone else’s. 

All my life I have searched for that significant other, to have and hold, to share a life together, body and soul. And all my life I keep getting told that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with being homosexual, and having homosexual sex. But being reduced to a sex drive you can miss how the sight of a beautiful guy arouses more than my libido, but also every higher emotion of wonder and joy within me, that make life worth living. That’s the part that keeps getting missed when all you can see about your LGBT neighbors is the sex you think they’re having.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 

That sonnet speaks to something deep within us, gay and straight alike. 

I never found that significant other. I’m 70 years old now and looking back at having walked my entire adult life basically single and alone in my heart. I blame the world I came of age in, that kept telling me and everyone else that homosexuals don’t love they just have sex. In a better world I might have found someone to have and hold. A nice guy I might have met at a church social or in high school or at some social event for the gay kids arranged by caring adults. Someone I could have brought home to mom and told her this is my boyfriend and she’d have made a place at the table for him. Someone I could have made a life together with, body and soul.

So if you ever see me gawking at some drop dead beautiful guy, just let me have my moment. Beautiful guys are still a good reason to keep on living, and I’m probably not just drinking in his beauty, but also seeing what might have been if only the gay kid I once was had lived in a better world.


by Bruce | Link | React!

November 22nd, 2023

One More For The Gay Studies Bookshelf

This came in the mail today…


Growing Up Straight: What Every Thoughtful Parent Should Know about Homosexuality, by Peter and Barbara Wyden (January 1969). My copy of The Columbia Reader calls it a veritable encyclopedia of homophobia. (“The book draws heavily on the theories of Irving Bieber and other psychiatrists of the mothers-did-it school…”) I did not know about this book, and was just scanning the Reader for anything around the time of Midge Dector’s “The Boys on the Beach” (which I’ve already quoted once in A Coming Out Story) when I found the reference.

I think I have everything I need for the Mirror Episode, but it’s not too late to add some more.

by Bruce | Link | React!

November 21st, 2023

Hafer’s Homosexuality: Legitimate Alternate Deathstyle – A Personal Review (continued…)

Chapter One – (The Bell & Weinberg Study)

Hafer casts his comic book as “A basic primer on the homosexual movement for those who do not know the Facts.” His problems with Facts begin almost immediately at the start of Chapter One. 

I’m going to have to split up my review of Chapter One into multiple parts, and possibly all the other chapters too, but this one especially because the very first thing Hafer does is lie about the book that became the seed of my own Gay Studies bookshelves. I’ll explain when we get to it.

But first…you may recall in our last episode…Larry, the very model of an impartial middle between two extremes (Chester and Sodomite) invites his foils and the reader to listen while he tells them what a homosexual Is. “Do you know what a homosexual couple is?” He asks.

Chester, with a thought balloon over his head of gay domestic bliss, avers it’s when one does the cooking and the other does the cleaning.

NO.” Says Larry. “It’s two men who prefer to have sexual relations with each other rather than a woman!”

Chester is appalled. “That’s sick!!” he shouts. You have to suspend belief for a moment and actually think that someone like Chester, who was just bellyaching about fags and homos couple of pages ago, does not know that homosexuals have sex. And not only sick, he says, but impossible. “Not if you’re imaginative!” replies Sodomite. Larry agrees  they’re both right…to a degree. “By any ‘normal’ biological standards it is impossible.”

There is so much to unpack here. What are the “biological standards” he refers to? Hafer doesn’t say at this point, but I’ll hazard a guess that it involves reproduction. But sexual relations to the point of orgasm between same sex couples is not only possible, it’s simple. You don’t have to be imaginative, just…well…homosexual. What’s missing from Larry/Dick’s definition is desire. Homosexual males sexually desire males. That is why they prefer to have sex with them. Simple, yes? But if you’re trying to convince everyone that homosexuality is a sickness, and an acquired one at that, that’s much easier when you erase desire from the equation. As we will see, Hafer later tells the reader that homosexuals don’t really like having sex with other homosexuals, but are trapped in a behavior they can’t escape. There is no desire, only behavior.

Let’s take a look at that unspoken definition of “homosexual couple” (Do you know what a homosexual couple is?). In Hafer’s view that’s any two men who hook up for sex. What is strikingly missing from Hafer’s definition is any recognition that love and romance might be involved.

Vito Russo, author of The Celluloid Closet, puts it this way:

It is an old stereotype, that homosexuality has to do only with sex while heterosexuality is multifaceted and embraces love and romance.

So right at the starting line we see where Hafer intends to go with this. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. He makes that explicit almost immediately. But even the sex they have isn’t what they want. It’s a sexual behavior not a sexual desire.

Sodomite says it’s no different from the love between a man and a woman. Hafer can’t help but have Sodomite add under his breath “A woman? Ugh!! Icky poo!!” Because that’s how homosexuals think and talk.

Now we start getting down to brass tacks. Mr. Impartial Middle Ground Between Two Extremes Larry tells him “There’s one of our first major disagreements,” and asks if you would call it love if a man had sexual relations with six or eight different women in his life. To which Chester angrily replies that would be lust pure and simple, adding that a man who is unfaithful to his wife…or promiscuous…is not a decent man in his book. Larry adds that such a man would not be very decent in God’s book either. This is the first hint of the religious basis for everything about the comic book, but Hafer wants to add that to the mix slowly, probably knowing that if readers see the book is nothing more than an extended Jack Chick tract they’ll discard its message. 

I’m unable to determine Hafer’s exact religious denomination. He was a Maryland resident (sorry) and the bulk of his output is of a religious nature. There are religions that forbid divorce and remarriage, my mom was a Baptist (Yankee, not Southern…I have to make that distinction these days) who believed to her dying day she could not remarry after divorcing dad. But that may have been an excuse not to. She loved dad to her dying day and just didn’t want anyone else. When I was finally able to meet him in my teens, I could tell they still loved each other very much. All this is to say that I can see where he’s coming from on a religious basis. But not on a human one.

Many good and decent people practice a kind of serial monogamy. Other’s simply want no strings, just a good time in the sack. That does not preclude things like trustworthiness, honesty, kindness…decency. In fact it only goes to show that monogamy is not a moral value, it’s a temperament. Probably one confined largely to those of us, like myself, with very mild libidoes. The moral values are things like trustworthiness, honesty, kindness. Without those things we don’t have civilization. But for the religious fanatic, the only value is obedience. 

So in Hafer’s book, since his religion apparently forbids having multiple sex partners, that automatically determines a man as indecent if he has many, and never mind how well he treats them. But to be homosexual is even worse, and Hafer has to make sure we all know it.

“How can it be called ‘love’ when the average homosexual has 300 to 500 sex partners in their lifetime?” Middle Ground Larry asks. And here Hafer gives us the first of his citations:

A.P. Bell and M.S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, NY : Simon and Schuster 1978.

Ah yes…this book. I know it well. Notice Hafer does not include pages numbers in that cite. Probably because he understands his target audience isn’t going to bother fact checking him, and the militant homosexuals like me who will aren’t anything to care much about.

That quote about homosexual men having upwards of 500 sex partners was a go-to point among the kook pews back in my USENET days. They would wave it in our faces whenever we tried to assert our feelings of love and devotion against their insistence that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. I heard it over and over and eventually, being the geek child I am, I had to go find a copy of this book so I could see what the monkey tree was howling about. I found it, and serendipitously also a copy of the Kinsey Report, “Sexual Behavior In The Human Male” in a second hand bookstore in Havre de Grace. And I snapped them both up and took them home.

It was immediately clear why the Kinsey Report was so easy for them to lie about….it’s page after page after page of dry statistical analysis and tables and charts. He was speaking to other academics. Few were going to wade through all of that, and fewer still with the statistical understanding to look at it critically. So it’s easy to pluck something out of it (they call it “proof texting” when they do it to the Bible) and wave it in people’s faces, confident you won’t be fact checked.

Homosexualities is something like that. A lot of dry analysis, but at least there is something of a narrative to it. I found the quote the kook pews were waving in our faces pretty quickly…it’s on page 85 (Findings: Men (table 7))…

Almost one-half of the white homosexual males(WHMs) and one-third of the black homosexual males (BHMs) said they had at least five hundred sexual partners during the course of their homosexual careers. Another third of the WHMs and a quarter of the BHMs reported having had between one hundred and five hundred partners.

Sounds pretty promiscuous. I used to joke that there was a gay guy out there who got my share of the sex we were all having and I was going to throttle him when I got my hands on him. Actually I find having that much sex a bit creepy, but then my libido doesn’t go there. I need the romance along with the sex. But as I read that, I saw a footnote next to it. You almost never hear them read the footnote when they quote these numbers, but it’s right there on the page:

We are aware, of course, that these figures may reflect exaggeration on the part of some respondents.

Well who the heck exaggerates about having that much fucking? To understand that, you need to read the whole fucking thing.

Tell me you’ve never read Homosexualities without telling me you’ve never read it. Like they do with the Bible, these people simply mine a source for good quotes to throw back at everyone, and Homosexualities gave them a motherlode. But it’s also stunningly clear they don’t bother to even read the Introduction, or if they do their eyes just glaze over. And the irony is that Bell and Weinberg did their study to show the diversity of experience among homosexuals, that there is no one single gay lifestyle, but many. It’s in the friggin title of the book! 

What they try to make the reader understand about their study is right there in the Introduction:

The present investigation was undertaken with several purposes in mind. First, we attempted to identify various sexual dimensions of homosexual experience and then to indicate the whereabouts of our homosexual respondents on each of these dimensions. Of course, as with heterosexuality, homosexuality encompasses far more than the direction of one’s sexual preferences… (page 21)

And so of course the howling monkey tree uses it to prove the opposite. Because that’s what they do.

Most heterosexuals, unfamiliar with homosexual adults, tend to believe that homosexuals – regardless of their sex, race, age or socio-economic status – are alike in how they manage their homosexuality. These folk notions, or stereotypes, are reviewed in the present volume and examined for the extent to which our data support them… (page 21)

But there’s a problem with the data, and Bell and Weinberg freely acknowledge it up front. They couldn’t get a representative sample. Even in 1978, almost a decade after Stonewall, that would have been nearly impossible. 

The problem for science, then and to a degree even now, is how do you do verifiable, repeatable, science on a subset of the human family that is largely terrified of being discovered, and especially in the 1970s. It was still a time when you could be arrested, lose your job, lose your professional licenses, your family, your children. Why would anyone want to out themselves in that sort of environment for the sake of science. For all you know science is your enemy, since it’s been telling everyone that you are sick and dangerous…telling you that, regardless of what you know about your own life. Making you believe it.

It should be pointed out that not every member of a homophile organization welcomed the study or volunteered to be interviewed. In fact, some very active members of the gay community claimed that time time and energy they had invested in other research projects had done little to enhance the quality of life in the community. Some, indeed, had felt that previous researchers they had assisted were prejudiced against them. (page 32)

Mind you, they are talking here about gay people who were willing to join these organizations. In 1979, how do you reach the ones living quiet lives of desperation in the closet. Perhaps they have found their significant other and settled down with them. Perhaps they cruise the bars if they happen to live in the urban zones where there are gay bars. Perhaps they have a network of friends whose company they enjoy, and with whom they occasionally have sex with. And they emphatically don’t want the rest of their families and neighbors finding out that they are homosexual. It’s a matter of survival. So they’ve blended in. Perhaps they’ve even married. How do you even find them, to ask them if they want to help the science better understand them? Why would they want to?

What is a representative sample? How to you even know that you have one? Bell and Weinberg understood this, and right in the introduction to the book, tried to tell their readers their sample was not, could not possibly be, a representative sample.

It should be pointed out that reaching any consensus about the exact number of homosexual men or women exhibiting this or that characteristic is not an aim of the present study. The nonrepresentative nature of other investigators samples as well as of our own precludes any generalization about the incidence of a particular phenomenon even to persons living in the local where the interviews were conducted, much less to homosexual in general. Nowhere has a random sample of American homosexual men and women ever been obtained, and given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator ever will be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals. We cannot stress too much that ours is not a representative sample. (page 22 – emphasis mine)

Now look again at what Middle Ground Larry said, “How can it be called ‘love’ when the average homosexual has 300 to 500 sex partners in their lifetime?” The average homosexual. The average homosexual. Really? And for this…fact…Hafer cites Homosexualities. But it doesn’t say that. The authors take pains to say their study cannot say anything like that. Hafer’s very first cite in his comic book he says is for those who do not know the facts, is a lie.

We cannot stress too much that ours is not a representative sample. You look at how they went about recruiting their participants and this becomes staringly obvious. They set up their field office in San Francisco, because, obviously, that was where they knew they were most likely to get respondents. They recruited with advertisements in the local San Francisco newspapers, recruited among the members of gay organizations, in gay bars and gay baths (pages 30-31). Let me repeat that: they recruited in the bars and baths

It was the 1970s. The summer of love had segued into the summers of disco. Short-shorts and tight low rise blue jeans were the fashion among heterosexual and homosexual twenty-somethings (lord how I miss those days). A real man had lots of babes. Urban gay men in their thirties were emerging from their closets and getting caught up with all the sex they’d been missing out on. Do you get now what Bell and Weinberg thought some of their respondents might have been bragging?

Well guess who doesn’t think so. Middle Ground Between Extremes Larry, who says that if a heterosexual had an obsession with sex like that they’d be considered a pervert. Tell you what Larry/Dick, lets go interview the heterosexual men down in Baltimore’s “Block”, or any major city’s red light district, we get some figures we won’t distinguish from bragging, and I tell you that they represent the average of heterosexual sexual contacts, and oh by the way if you’re one of them you’re probably a pervert too. Then let’s go watch some movies from the period aimed at heterosexual men. How many babes do you think James Bond has fucked? But he’s not a pervert, he’s a hero.

Ah yes…I know…I know…you condemn that behavior among heterosexuals too. But you’re a bigot Dick…you can’t see the people for the homosexuals. You cracked open the pages of a study meant to illuminate the diversity among homosexuals, and you saw only want you wanted to see. Because…as Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. once said (and I’m paraphrasing it a tad here) a bigot’s mind is like an eye: the more light you shine on it the tighter it closes.

Years ago, back in my USENET days, I got an eyeful seeing firsthand how bigots routinely lie about the sources they quote, the better to lie about their homosexual neighbor. What ninth commandment? It wasn’t even a matter of differing opinions about the source material: these were just straight up lies. I admit to being stunned by how blatant it was. They knew they were lying, they had to. But they also knew their readers didn’t care. Hafer says his book is for those who do not know the Facts. No. It’s for those for whom the facts are unimportant. Hafer’s comic book is for those who want something…anything…they can throw back at the people they hate. They don’t care whether any of it is true. They care that it feels good to throw it at that hated Other.

One of my favorite authors, Jacob Bronowski, wrote in his book Science and Human Values, the following as a social axiom:

We OUGHT to act in such a way that what IS true can be verified to be so.

You will never find anyone on the religious right who believes that, let alone behaves that way. But that is the way of science. It depends on those things without which we do not have civilization. Trustworthiness. Honesty. The courage to ask questions, and let nature speak for itself. The integrity to change your mind about something when new facts emerge. If a bigot’s mind is like an eye that closes, the mind of the civilized person is one that is always curious, always looking at what it sees, always asking what do I know and how do I know it.

And so began my collection of books, newspapers, magazines and articles about homosexuals and homosexuality. And it keeps growing a little every year. And staring into that open sewer Hafer’s kind calls a conscience still manages to shock. But calling out the lies is good honest work and I’m going to go on with it.

Let’s continue with Chapter One later. I’ll probably put up other posts in the meantime but I am not letting go of this. I’ve been looking over your appendixes Hafer, and I’ve got the receipts.

by Bruce | Link | React!

November 20th, 2023

Hafer’s Homosexuality: Legitimate Alternate Deathstyle – A Personal Review

Back in December of 2019 I promised in a blog post to review the Hafer comic book. Back then I wrote:

Soon after this arrived in the mail, I began flipping through its pages. I’d already seen many of them posted here and there in the Internet tubes, but I was unprepared for the unabridged wholeness of its contempt and hate. If Orson Scott Card was a cartoonist this would probably have been the comic book he’d have produced on homosexuals and homosexuality. It’s deeper in the dark night of the soul than even R. Crumb or S. Clay Wilson ever went. All the feelings of growing up gay while hearing this crap thrown at me over and over and over again came rushing out as I began reading it.

Which is probably why I never got around to doing my chapter by chapter review, a’la Fred Clark’s takedown of the Left Behind books. It was just too damn depressing, too many old wounds being reopened. 

But in working on the “final” episode of A Coming Out Story I had occasion to revisit this comic book for quotes to illustrate the climate of hate I grew up in. And once again the unabridged wholeness of its contempt and hate managed, even now, to shock me. But this time I dug a little deeper.

Hafer helpfully provides an appendix to back up his “facts”. It only took me a couple glances at it to see how much he was bullshitting his readers. I’d seen this kind of thing back in the USENET days and it’s why I have my “gay studies” bookshelves. 

And I thought…I really need to do the review I’d intended…if only to get it out there.

As I said in a previous post, these things, like the Chick tracts, are basically Tijuana bibles for prigs, allowing them to ogle their neighbor’s sex lives, indulge their own sexual fantasies, and feel righteous about it. We are the sexual scapegoat they need, so they don’t have to reckon with the empty wasteland they’ve made of their own sex lives. But that doesn’t mean turning a critical eye on it is pointless. 

They posture as defenders of godly truths and moral values, and these things, truth and morality, are emphatically not theirs. Like the swords of myth and legend that refuse the hand of the unworthy, time and again when confronted with reason and morality, the hate pews flee back into their chapels of fantasies, lies, and superstition. It is worth exposing them, the better to see that the moral high ground is ours.

Let’s begin in the next post.

by Bruce | Link | React!

August 9th, 2023

Like Al Capon Suing Chicago For Letting Him Tarnish The City’s Reputation…

We all remember Stephan “Goebbels” Miller…right…?

Stephen Miller’s legal group sues Target over LGBTQ Pride collection backlash

A conservative legal nonprofit led by Stephen Miller is suing Target on behalf of one of the company’s investors, saying it should have anticipated public backlash to its LGBTQ Pride displays in June.

America First Legal — founded by Miller, a former senior adviser to former President Trump — claims the company misrepresented the adequacy of its risk monitoring after its Pride month campaign led to employee harassment, bomb threats and a conservative online hate campaign.

A conservative group. A conservative group. Yeah, and the Al Capon mob was a private investment fund. You gotta admire the brazenness of the anti-gay industrial complex. First they start a hate campaign against retailers that support Pride Month, then they sue them for the damage to the investors that they caused. Nice work if you can get it.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

September 14th, 2016

Some Of My Best Friends Are Abominations

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by  Social Security Administration employee David Hall

“In support of an inclusive work environment, as well as exemplary customer service, the Social Security Administration recently announced a diversity and inclusion training on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community to our employees…The training includes a brief session on tips for increasing cultural awareness in a diverse and inclusive environment.”


For Hall, that premise was too sinful. The 42-year-old, who identifies as Christian, said he does not believe God would have wanted him to watch the video.


Signing a statement he had watched such a video, moreover, was equal to endorsing “an abomination,” he told WCIA.


“I’m not going to certify sin.”


He told WCIA during an interview that the video was propaganda…


Hall added he has LGBT friends.


Le Curtian…Applaus a vous…


by Bruce | Link | React!

June 16th, 2016

The Ball And Chain You Let Them Put On You

This came down my Facebook stream earlier


Is it hard to picture a troubled gay guy lashing out at his own kind? When you hate the gay, it’s much easier to attack it in other people than to face down your own demons. Craig Ferguson has been repeating a joke for years that goes something like this: What would we do without gays? Who would design all the clothes? Who would arrange all the flowers? Who would pass all the anti-gay legislation? He always gets a big laugh…

I never hated myself. I came out to myself in a rush of first love and it honestly felt like the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me. Like all the silly love songs and poems, the stars seemed to shine a little brighter, the birds in the trees sang a little more sweetly, and I walked with a lighter more carefree step than I ever had before. It was wonderful. But the wound ran deeper than I thought.  

It was the iron ball and chain of low expectations regarding my place in the world, which I would always excuse as my simply a not having a very competitive nature. I never tried very hard to make a place for myself in the realms of my first loves, cartooning, painting and photography. I kept my artwork to myself, and those few times I did venture out to try and market myself, or find work as an illustrator or photographer, I barely knocked on the door, accepting the first rejections I got as final. In retrospect something very deep down inside of me seemed to know I’d never be accepted in the lands of my dreams. I had no clue what I would do for a living, accepted that I would always have a low income life, going from one menial job to another, renting rooms maybe in other people’s homes if I was lucky, but never a place of my own, never a good job that I loved. That was for other people. I never bothered somehow, to examine why I felt that way very closely. I had an assortment of ready excuses. No college degree. Not very good at self marketing. Maybe I just wasn’t as  talented as I thought…  

I stumbled into my career as a software developer purely by chance; the PC and dot-com booms created such a booming job market that anyone who could code even a little was fairly dragged into it. I had a knack for logical thinking that enabled me to figure out how to turn requirements into software, even if it never dared look within as to why I felt so unlikely to succeed at a career. Right from the beginning I got praise for the quality of my work, rose in skill and wage level from one job to another, and ending up working at Space Telescope making six figures. It was a dream come true it seemed. Deep down I was completely scared I didn’t deserve any of it. I think it was only when the director of the Institute handed me a special achievement award at a ceremony a couple years ago that I finally began to really believe I belonged there, among those other highly skilled professionals. I was 60. Somehow it’s still harder to acknowledge to myself that I’m one of them than it was to admit to myself that I’m gay. It still feels pretentious. I have a little Baltimore rowhouse now, in a city neighborhood that is on the rise, and a nice car, and a dream come true job. And my first dreams are all buried in the past. I pursue them now in my basement art room in my spare time.

And then of course, there’s how low self esteem impacts your love life. Some folks just write love off altogether and dive into the one night stand no strings no complications scene. Others of us just stand quietly in a corner with a flower in hand and hopeful expression on our faces and the unkept look of people who forget sometimes to take care of themselves because they know somehow it doesn’t matter all that much. Please love us. Please don’t break our hearts. But the heart was already broken even before you came out to yourself, in that first moment when you flinched away from knowing. Gay Pride only goes so far healing the wound. You have to work at it, you have to dig down deep to really get to all the subtle little places where it still exists, still hurts still holds you down.

If you’ve never heard the term internalized homophobia, and it seems slightly odd to you, welcome to our world. It’s second nature to every gay guy, to the extent that few of us ever completely erase it. Vestiges linger, and catch us off guard when they rear up in awkward moments, decades later…

I never hated myself. Never. But deep down I have always felt like I was standing on the outside of life looking in. You really see it in my art sometimes. Internalized homophobia isn’t always a kind of murderous self hate as it apparently was for the author of this piece. I’ve seen that in other gay people. I think we all have. It’s a real thing. Sometimes though, it’s just the ball and chain on your soul that you just got used to, until you stopped even noticing it was there, and how much of the precious joy of life it was taking from you.

by Bruce | Link | React!

November 5th, 2012

I Didn’t Mean To Offend You Weirdos…

The Wretched Two-Step…as choreographed by New Zealand Prime Minister John Kay…

Ah One…

Prime Minister John Key says “gay” just means “weird”

Ah Two…

…and he had no intention of offending anyone when he used it on a radio show last week.



by Bruce | Link | React!

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