Posts Tagged ‘GLBT Issues’

39856_1156248682487_1715825008_306464_227638_nThis past week marked a milestone in my life. Twenty years since I met Ed Briggs. The most amazing many I have ever met.I am happy to say, now husband. I am looking forward to the summer with the Supreme Court makes us legal across the land.I met Ed in 1993 at the National March on Washing for Gay and Lesbian Rights, Or the March. Although he had been at a party I hosted the night before, so were 1800 other men. When we did meet, it was literally a one in a million chance. According to estimates there were a million people on the Mall that day to march for GLBT equality.

There were groups marching representing differing geographic locations, fetishes, sports and gender preferences. I was looking for people with the leather community when I ran into some men that I had met at a FFA party on Thursday night. Although hot, hot, men, by the time Sunday rolled around I was just plain wiped-out . That along with the fact that I had a dozen people staying in my small basement apartment meant no privacy.

In an attempt to make a graceful exit, I notice a cute little stud on the hill about 50 feet away. Feigning surprise I told the guys that I just spotted a friend that I had net seen in years. I made a bee-line over to him, gave him a hug as I whispered in his ear; “I’ll give you $20 bucks if you pretend that you know me and walk out of sight of the guys behind me. He did, we walked away together and have been walking together every day for the past 20 years. He never did ask for the $20.

The funny thing is that later when Going through pictures I had taken that day, I found a picture of him from before we met.

We spent the rest of the day together having dinner at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill. In one of the first signs of Synchronicity,  one of the people staying with me during the march had been dating Ed’s friend he came to the march with. Having spent almost 19 years with this man I will have more to write about and the things I have learned. But as a quick introduction, when we met Ed was active with the Spartan Wrestling Club in Philadelphia where he lived. For the first year, one or the other of us made the trip to Philly or DC every weekend. We finally moved into together in Philly then a year later moved to Florida.

To celebrate the occasion, We spent a week in Spain. Maybe it’s a sign of age, but I preferred the city of Madrid to Barcelona.

Dave and Ed at Gaudi Park in Barcelona

Dave and Ed at Gaudi Park in Barcelona

I’m back. It’s been awhile and the depression got worse and darker but I think I have turned the corner and understand the roots. The shrink gave me some meds that made matters worse. I remember joking about the warning on antidepressants, warnings that they “increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior”. Wow, they were not kidding. There are a few of us that can have these reactions and it is unbelievable to me how dark it can get.

The good news is that I think I have discovered a root of the problem and can go about fixing it. One part of the problem is that I never wanted to be an attorney. As I mentioned earlier, I went to law school so my obituary would not read waiter. I never thought I would live to see graduation. Now some 25 years later I am in a situation where I can do what I want and I am going to start doing that. Piano, Photography and continue with the athletics and training. Most important is writing. While I reorganize my life a bit I will update regularly. My this weekend the blog will pass 50,000 views. Thanks for your support.

Though I’ve never been through hell like that
I’ve closed enough windows
to know you can never look back

This week Lincoln Nebraska debated GLBT protections. As usual in times like this the christian bigots come out in full bloom. Laying bare all their true hatred and stupidity. He we have a prime example of this Magnificent Fuckery.

“P- E- N- I- S goes into the anus to rupture intestines. The more a man does this the more he’ll be a fatality or a homicider…”

“A huge percent of gay men in school grounds molest boys, partly because they don’t have AIDS yet…”

“Hillary Clinton’s roommate four years in college was a gay woman. To avoid going gay like Clinton did, college students need single rooms and single gender dorms… A college woman is seduced with illegal Rohypnol to go gay.”

“Candida fungus grows hugely on a corpse. AIDS is a candida fungus disease…”

“Roman senators went to Roman baths to be promiscuous gays, bis, and orgiers then went to the Coliseum to watch Christians get mauled and perish. Do gays become this sadistic? Yes. They cuss after coupling, don’t like the land they lay on, and 80% of those that did treason by the year 2000 are gays.”

“Gays can transform to be celibate to live to be 80 years old.”

“Read the book Nijinsky to understand that bisexuals always become insane.”

“A wedding dress is for a woman not a man.”

“Jesus was kissed by Judas, a homo, who tried to sabotage Jesus’ kind ideas. Do you choose Jesus, a celibate, or Judas, a homo? You have to choose!”

Ya just can’t make this up.

What the F*ck has happened to the gay world. Every one is jumping with joy over the table scraps that the President gave today in support of gay marriage. Every gay organization from the National Human Right Campaign, Victory Fund and others are patting themselves on their back about what a wonderful job they did moving the President – Now send us money!

Did no one watch the entire interview or did their heads just explode at another fundraising opportunity? The president went on to say that he still believes that it is a state issue. The headline for tomorrow should read;



That is what he said. That it should be up to the states. Can you imagine an America today if Lincoln had said the he is personally against slavery, but he thinks it is an issue best left up to the states? He realized that Americans should be afforded the same rights in each and every state. Including the right to be legally protected in love.

We have no cause to celebrate today any more then we did when President Reagan finally used the word AIDS. Words can hurt but seldom amount to anything substantial. It is actions that count. Today we got a half ass endorsement and a pat on the head. The President and the gay organizations got a new fundraising tool. And today I got squat! I got no protection for my marriage and told once again that I am a second class citizen in my own country.

This past week Ed and I celebrated our anniversary. 19 years ago we met in Washington DC at the March on Washington. One year ago on the same date, we got married and the US Courthouse in Washington DC. A more in-depth revelation of the day we met can be found here.

There is a certain synergy to this weekend in New York. The connection is Ghost.

I am writing this today while flying to New York to see a few shows for our anniversary. This brings full circle the “incident” on our wedding eve that almost derailed the wedding.
Last year as we prepared to actually get married, Ed and I decided that we would write vows. Not to be used in place of the ceremony used by the Clerk of the Court, but to exchange between ourselves. We both spent time, energy and heart writing them. I thought, since we both have a love of good movies, that mine would have a theme. I tried to incorporate as many movie lines into mine as I could remember.

The night before we got married we sat in our hotel room in Washington DC, Ed in my lap, and I gave him my “vows”. He read them, a little misty eyed, looked at me, and said ditto. I started to fume.
Is that is? Ditto? I poured hours into this and all you can say f@*kn say is ditto?!?!
I was pissed, or hurt, or just flummoxed. Any sense of romance was gone. My mind was racing trying to convince myself not to totally blow up and cancel the wedding. It took 18 years to get me to the alter and all he could say was f@*k ditto! I could not believe that Ed could act so callous. It was so out of character for him. Maybe it was just nerves hitting. I could not understand. I was nearly ready to head out the door for a long walk before he realize that I was truly upset and not projecting faux pain and indignation. Then he ask – “have you never seen the movie Ghost?” “No, I hadn’t! And I hadn’t seen Porky’s 3 either.” (see above comment about love of “GOOD” movies).
Since that night, I have come to find out that I am one of the few dozen people in the industrialized world who had not seen Ghost. Every person that weekend and after I went to for reassurance that I had been wronged squealed that that was the perfect response. Even our straight, 6’4″ 290 pounds of muscle, trainer congratulated Ed on a great response. I had been wronged damn-it and I kept looking for someone, anyone, who would back me up on that. Finally, four months later I found someone who had not seen ghost. They were from Europe but none the less she had not seen ghost. However once Ed explained the reason for his response, she “awww, that’s so sweet.
Today, after a year of trying to find someone who would let me play aggrieved victim or romance, I give up. I concede that that was a great response and I was really upset that I didn’t think of it first. Let me be clear. What Ed had written was beautiful and made me misty (actually I tear up at McDonald’s Olympic ads).
All that is a prelude to this weekend. For our anniversary, Ed is taking me to Broadway to see “Ghost the Musical.” I’ll let you know later how many Kleenex I go through.
As for the rest of the wedding eve, I calmed down and we headed out to the DC Eagle for our bachelors’ party. And no, you can’t see those pictures!

The other show we are seeing Saturday is Spiderman! Cannot wait!

RIP – A very dear friend of mine passed away this past week. I know that many of my friends relied on him through the years and would want to know. My dad introduced me to them and for years I have relied on their stability. Now more than than ever I will really miss em.

Over the centuries, Facts became such a prevalent part of most people’s lives that Irish philosopher Edmund Burke once said: “Facts are to the mind what food is to the body.”

Facts is survived by two brothers, Rumor and Innuendo, and a sister, Emphatic Assertion.

Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012

In memoriam: After years of health problems, Facts has finally died.

Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012.

Again I apologize for not being more consistent in writing. After fifty years of trying to do every thing myself I have realized that this time I am over my head. I have been depressed before but not like this. I have put on 18 pounds of comfort food since January and spend a great deal of time sitting in a chair in my living room staring at the beach.

I did have a string of good days, four in a row this past week but hit a pothole yesterday. I did get a chance to go to Orlando for a day and spend a great day at Disney Animal Kingdom on a “photo safari.” I have finally let a few friends know the depth of the hole and how close I came to crossing the Rubicon. Now on medication to sleep better and on Testosterone shots. There are many different factors at work in this bout that are causing the perfect storm. My lab work came back much better and that helped. I have come to realize that there is a huge generational gap with respect to AIDS. When I was first infected int he first wave of infections in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there was not a name for what was killing us. Boyfriends, partners, friends and tricks were healthy one day and dead a week later. There was never a question of “if” it was going to kill us. Only a matter of “when”. for the better part of ten to fifteen years there was no real hope. AZT appeared to be as toxic as the virus.

People today say oh – it’s no big deal anymore. Just take a pill every day and you can live normal. That is like telling a survivor of Iraq or Afghanistan that the pop was just a car backfiring or the transformer explosion is nothing or the knocked over trash can was just a cat there is nothing to worry about. Years of mental programing take years of programing to undo. Even now, the meds only prolong – they do not cure. It is very hard to start living again when I’ve spent so long getting ready to die. And to that the drive to succeed that becomes hindered and blocked by the medical condition life is frustrating at best. Then there are the chemical changes the body encounters as it grows older.

Each of these is now being felt with. I will say I spent several months actively damaging relationships and professional licensing in an attempt to make sure there was nothing keeping me tied down here. I have begun the journey of repairing them but it will be awhile. As the quote goes. Life does not come with a remote. Ya gotta get up and change it yourself!

I had hoped to get back to regular blogging about the Exquisite Fuckery that is the Republican brain. Alas, I am back to suicide.

This past week the New York Times carried an in-depth piece on the recent (New Years Eve) suicide of self-help guru/therapist Bob Bergeron, age 49, who was writing “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.” He left behind a suicide note written on the book’s cover page: “It’s a lie based on bad information.” An arrow pointed to the book’s title, according to the report.

At first I laughed at the sardonicism of the circumstances. Here is a man who had it right and couldn’t accept his own teaching. The NYT author mentions In Dancer From the Dance. Dancer was one of the first gay themed books I ever saw or read. Unlike today, when I was coming of age the only out(ish) gays were Paul Lynn and Liberace. The only stories about gays were depressing and fatalistic. Portrait of Dorian Gray or Dancer.  In Dancer, the main character commits suicide “rather than facing getting older and watching his beauty fade.” Bernstein asks, “Had Mr. Bergeron made the same decision?”

I personally find it irritating when people tell me 50 is the new 30. NO 50 IS 50. 30 is 30. Don’t confuse the two. The other day some butt-wipe made a comment about me being old. I turned and in my best daddy voice said, “I have been your age. I had fun! It was the age when sex didn’t kill and when drugs were recreational. There is no guarantee that you will ever be my age. I have the advantage.” For the two years before I turned 50 I started telling people I was 50. That was number to be proud of. I survived the early days in the trenches and front lines of AIDS and Anita Bryant and all the craziness that was the 80’s and the Reagan error. I earned my scars, physical and emotional, and I am proud that what I did – what we did. We helped created a climate where kids in Bumfuck Montana can take same-sex dates to the prom.

I wouldn’t go back in time if you paid me. To me the joy in life is incorporating all you learn and moving it forward. There is nothing more silly that a forty something year old man trying to act 20. It just screams insecurity. The only time a hat should be worn backwards is when he’s giving head. I am not saying we should be wearing golf shorts and argyles up to our knees. But nothing is sexier that a secure man dressed confidently and age appropriate. Men like Tom Ford, Daniel Craig, Anderson Cooper and George Clooney are all examples of men acting their age. There is no sin in that. The whole inner beauty cliché is over used, but the mature man just knows. The young set may always be randy and ready to screw. It’s just a shame that they lack the necessary skills to actually please someone else. Or even last long enough to make it interesting. Most importantly to me, is that they keep my interest long enough to get home. I wonder if my generation was as shallow as todays 20-30 year old set.

There is a reason every story about people attempting to hold on to youthful beauty ends poorly. The Evil Queen in Snow White and Dorian Gray lose everything in their pursuit of youth. Peter Pan who never grows up, goes back to face his empty life. There is a reason young people are pretty. They have to have some positive asset something to attract a mate.

Just saying.

July 2012, Washington DC is hosting the International Conference on AIDS. The Names Project Foundation, which takes care of all the Quilt Panels is trying to ‘blanket DC’ with all the Quilt Panels. The Quilt has been to DC in 1987, 88, 89, 92 and 1996. Some of the Quilt were included in President Clinton’s Inauguration Parade. The Quilt was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. It is the single largest community project in the World to this day.

The Quilt continues to grow as HIV/AIDS takes more lives. The Quilt now has over 47,000+ panels, weighs over 54 tons and has over 92,000+ names listed. Some famous names include: Arthur Ashe, Eazy E (rapper), Perry Ellis, Rock Hudson, Richard Hunt (muppeteer), Liberace, Freddie Mercury, Tim Richmond (Nascar), Robert Reed (Brady Bunch), Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Max Robinson (ABC News anchor), Jerry Smith (Redskin Football player), Ricky Wilson (B-52 band), Ryan White, Rudolf Nureyev, just to name a few…

According to POZ magazine, the  AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed in its entirety for the first time since 1996 in multiple key locations on and around Capitol Hill and throughout metropolitan Washington, DC. from July 21-24.

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt is a 1989 documentary film that tells the story of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman with a musical score written and performed by Bobby McFerrin, the film focuses on several people who are represented by panels in the Quilt, combining personal reminiscences with archive footage of the subjects, along with footage of various politicians, health professionals and other people with AIDS.  One of those focused in the film was an ex of mine Tracy Torrey. Part of me want to go to DC to see the quilt, but after all this time and all those deaths and all those funerals, not sure I could handle it.  One of those focused in the film was an ex of mine Tracy Torrey. Part of me want to go to DC to see the quilt, but after all this time and all those deaths and all those funerals, not sure I could handle it.

This past week has seen the reemergence of the red-herring, “war on religion” screams from the GOP. The Catholic Church is crying foul over the Presidents plan to have all business health insurance plans cover contraception. Combine that to the recent Republican legislation in Virginia that requires women be forcibly probed in order to prove the age of the fetus. We see a full fledge attack on our right to be free from religion.

Women in Virginia who want an abortion will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure. This is a medically unnecessary procedure in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill, a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound failed, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.

During recent testimony on the insurance bill, I was left speechless at the sight of a table of Catholic clergy testifying before a House of Representative Committee exerting their right to deny federal law and refuse to cover some woman’s health coverage under a separation of Church and State argument. No women were allowed to testify on the Congressional bill concerning churches that operate businesses refusing to cover women’s health option.

This would be the same as the catholic clergy that argued that separation of church and state meant that the local government authorities did not have the right to investigate sex abuse charges. These are the same people complacent in the sex abuse scandal now claiming moral authority to defy federal insurance law. This has nothing to do with doctrine but apply when the church runs a business. The church argues that if they are running a business, that they should be able to pick and choose what laws apply to them based on their interpretation of their doctrine.

This argument, about protecting religious freedom from government interference, should be of concern to everyone but especially the GLBT community. Drunk with power, the radical republicans have waged war on anyone one and any things that upsets their status quo. In Michigan, Republicans only agreed to consider an anti-bullying measure that did not require school districts to report bullying incidents, did not include any provisions for enforcement or teacher training, and did not hold administrators accountable if they fail to act. Social conservatives believe that efforts to protect gays from assault, discrimination or bullying impinge on their religious freedom to express and act on their belief that homosexuality is an abomination.

Freedom of religious expression doesn’t give someone the right to kick the crap out of a gay kid or to verbally torment her. It doesn’t give someone the right to fire a gay employee instead of dealing with the potential discomfort of working with him. It’s also a highly selective conception of religious liberty. The same religious conservatives who applaud the religious exemption would be appalled if it protected a Muslim student who defended bullying a Christian classmate by saying he considered her an infidel.

There is a war in America being carried out by those wrapped in a flag carrying a cross. Unless we as citizens stand firm in our convictions, stand firm in opposition to laws written or change to conform to religious doctrine, we are destined to lose the few rights we have remaining. Every little encroachment matters. Every “creation based” science book matters. Every restriction on a women’s right to health care matters. Every bullied child matters. Every business and restaurant hat refuses service to gays and lesbians matters. It should matter to each and every one of us.