Saturday, May 12, 2007

Who Are You?

Now that I have added neocounter to this blog, I see that I am getting visitors from other parts of the world. Taking a note from Real Euphoria, I'd love to know who some of you are. If you are willing, tell me about yourself, your blog, if you have one, and send me a photo (no x-rated, please) so I can post about the people I am meeting through my blog/story. If you want to be anonymous, simply say so and your identity will be protected. My e-mail is

My Daughter's Birthday

Tomorrow is my oldest daughter's 25th birthday. She is pictured above with her brother who is 21. She is an amazing person, smart, talented, beautiful and a good person. I doubt she will ever fully know how much I love her and what pride I take in her accomplishments. Happy birthday sweetheart.

Saturday Eye Candy

Ryan Carnes is a cutie. I need to head off to do yard work and later cook dinner. Since it's Saturday, I will be off tonight to dance at "The Wave" which is conveniently about six blocks from my house. There are always Ryan wantabes at the club which makes for nice scenery. Of course, the b/f is hot and a pretty good dancer too!

My Closet Years - Part Four

In Houston, we never built the extensive number of friends and acquaintances that we had in Mobile. Partly, the sheer size of the city and the distances between home and where co-workers lived made impromptu dinners together less feasible. Similarly, the logistics made it impossible for me to keep going to daily mass to try ever harder to “pray the gay away.” Also, I guess I was unconsciously beginning to figure out the claims that religion and “accepting Christ into your life” simply did NOT work when it came to making one straight. The company I was with was then a subsidiary of what is now Allied-Signal and has since merged with ARCO. Here’s a brief description:

Union Texas Petroleum Holdings, Inc. is an oil and gas company based in the United States. The company explores for and produces oil and gas overseas with its principal operations in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, Indonesia, Pakistan and Venezuela. The company has petrochemical interests in the United States. The company also carries on development of an oil field in Alaska. Seismic data, 40% interest in contract area and 30% interest in two blocks of Ghadames basin was acquired in 1997. Oil and gas exploration and production accounted for 79% of 1997 revenues and petrochemicals, 21%.

In the years I was with the company, revenues were over $2 billion per year. The overseas travel for the Company was wonderful, and even my wife got to go on several foreign trips at company expense. The places I visited on business overseas ranged from Jamaica, London, Paris, Brussels, Milan, Egypt, Morocco, and Athens. For company business, we traveled first class on all overseas flights, stayed in the best hotels (my all time favorite was the Plaza Athenee in Paris pictured above) and generally could almost pretend that we were part of the “Dallas” and “Dynasty” set. Once, due to the air traffic controller strike under Reagan, I even was able to take the Concorde from Paris to New York to insure our group got back to the USA after ten days in Morocco. Domestically, the trips were far less glamorous: Enid, Oklahoma, Midland Texas, Minneapolis, Memphis, and several small towns where the company’s propane gas subsidiary either purchased or sold operations, with me as the company’s sole legal counsel.

During this period, I had two close gay encounters. My wife was in New York visiting family, and while innocently grocery shopping one Saturday, I ran into a cute young attorney – dark hair and bright blue eyes - who was also a UVA law grad. We met while picking out produce and noticed each other’s gold UVA signet ring (the rings are somewhat distinctive) and talked briefly. OK, I admit it – I WAS looking him over because he was cute. He was with one of the big Houston law firms and lived in another neighborhood. He was very nice looking and since I am generally a friendly type, I told him where I lived, about my wife being out of town, and then he asked me if I’d like to go to the beach with him and several of his friends. The offer of going to the beach in Galveston sure beat painting kitchen cabinets, so I said I’d go along. While my sense of attraction to him was in high gear, I convinced myself that I was imagining his attraction to me. Soon after arriving at the beach and rendezvousing with his friends, however, it became obvious that all of them were gay – and very HOT!! Two of them, in fact, were a couple and I recall the secret envy of seeing them kiss each other. Nonetheless, the alarm bells were going off in my head. Had my fellow UVA grad read me as gay that easily? OMG!!!! What had I done wrong to make it so easy to tell?

Since my newly acquired friend, Rob – who I believe thought of me as his date – had driven, I had no option but to spend the day and evening with the group. After hours on the beach – with one of the hotties wearing a Speedo to my great distraction – we went to get some dinner at what turned out to be a gay bar. The combination of terror and excitement in my mind was crazy. I was so attracted to these guys and they were so nice (none of them were the stereotype of what up until then I thought it meant to be gay), but I was afraid where the evening might be going. Ultimately, we ended up heading back to Houston, and due to the horrendous traffic, it was very late when we got back. Rob dropped off at my house and, in retrospect, I think had hoped that I would invite him in. In terrified closet case form, I did not. I sometimes wonder where my life would be if I had.

My second gay experience was going to a big gay club with a bunch of people from the Company’s law department. My secretary was quite a character and lived in the Montrose area of Houston, which was and still is the City’s gay neighborhood. She convinced us that we should go to one of the big drag show competitions. My wife, who was pregnant at the time, stayed home and the rest of us went to the club – the Copacabana - for the show. The drag queens were amazing and there were a lot of gorgeous guys at the club. (I still clearly remember the men’s room- the urinal was a stadium type trough, except it had a mirror positioned above it so everyone at the urinal could check out your equipment.) I was terrified that I might run into one of the guys from the Galveston adventure or somehow my secret might otherwise be discovered. While it was a fun evening, I was relieved when it was over.

In Houston, my oldest daughter was conceived and born. For some time my wife had been after me to start a family and, although I was terrified at the thought of the responsibility involved, not to mention the fear that at some point my “secret” might come out, I acquiesced. Once my daughter was born, it was the most wonderful thing. Words cannot describe the wonder of seeing a child born and the love one feels for their child. She was in some ways the baby from Hell, since she required very little sleep, but she was smart and adorable (she still is). In any event, now with a child I knew I had to really suppress my attractions and strive to make the gay go away. After two years in Houston, my wife was again arguing to move closer to home. By chance, I got an interview with an up and coming law firm in Virginia Beach and I accepted the firm’s offer. Thus, I was about to embark on the longest phase of my closet years back in Virginia.

My Closet Years - Part Three

As I ended in Part two of my closet years saga, after graduating from law school, I took a job with an old line, southern aristocrat law firm in Mobile, Alabama. The reasoning behind taking the job was simple: (1) the firm was paying more than any firms in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, (2) it had a sophisticated maritime and oil and gas practice, (3) Mobile is a beautiful city with a great deal of history, (4) the firm paid for memberships in two exclusive clubs. What more could a new law school graduate want, right?

My wife to be, being a New York City native, naturally flipped out at the idea of moving to Alabama, but was won over by the beauty of the city and the fact that we would live on the east side of Mobile Bay which was the home of a number of northern transplants and a fairly artsy community, not to mention the spectacular Grand Hotel in Point Clear, and the gorgeous sugar white beaches of Gulf Shores, often called the redneck Rivera. Among the interesting tidbits of history we learned were (A) that Mobile’s Mardi Gras is older than that of New Orleans (located about 150 miles to the west and several years younger than Mobile), (B) the Maris Gras/society balls – of which there were 45 during that time period - began in late November and reached a crescendo in the two weeks before Mardi Gras, and (C) the term “raising Cain” originated in Mobile. The later stems from the annual celebration on the Sunday immediately prior to Mardi Gras Day in honor of Joseph Cain who revived the Mardi Gras parade tradition after the “War of Northern Aggression,” as the Civil War is sometimes called in the deep South. Each year, anyone who wants to be in the parade, make their own float, etc., can join in the “peoples’ parade” - in contrast to most of the parades put on by mystic societies made up of socially prominent citizens – and parade through the city, with the final stop at the cemetery where Joseph Cain is buried. Upon arrival at the cemetery, a wild party with oceans of alcohol takes place, thereby “raising Cain.” Usually, about 100,000 people would be out, partying and very intoxicated by day’s end.

While in Mobile, I continued my daily mass attendance since the cathedral (of a Romanesque style built in 1830 and very beautiful) was just a few blocks from the office building housing the firm’s offices. Naturally, this was part of my continued effort to “pray away the gay” through full emersion in religion. A side effect was that one of the senior partners in the firm was likewise a daily mass attendee, so I received unofficial brownie points with him. Of course, had he known the reason for my faithful attendance, I suspect he would have thought differently of me. As so true to my past experience, a couple of the attorneys in the firm were real hotties, so I had all the more reason to need that daily mass attendance. Meanwhile, my wife got a job with the Mobile School System and built her own circle of friends. In addition, the son of one of her family’s friends had a job at one of the local TV stations, so we also had our TV friends, so to speak through him. (One handsome, witty and overall great guy reporter later turned out to be gay and sadly killed himself over his inability to accept his sexual orientation). Surprisingly, with her accent, many people though my wife was from New Orleans because residents of the Irish Channel area of New Orleans continue to have an accent much like that of New Yorkers.

After renting a condo for six months, we bought a small 85 year old house in Fairhope – 25 miles from downtown Mobile – that was a Creole cottage style located on a bluff overlooking Mobile Bay and above a city park and the town fishing pier and yacht basin. The photos posted are of the view from our street and a view of the town pier. Shortly thereafter, we had a young married couple from New Orleans move in next door. I recall that it was Derby Day and the new neighbors asked us to come over to watch the race, have drinks and dinner, since the husband’s family (an old New Orleans French family) had previously owned race horses. Sitting across the table from the husband (“ML”) at dinner, he looked me directly in the eyes and I was hypnotized. It was love at first sight for me, and soon the four of us were doing things together all the time. This was not unusual because since Mobilians entertain at home more than anywhere I have ever lived, with casual dinner parties occurring at least weekly.

Not only was ML gorgeous, but he shared my love of history, had family connections to Central America were my mother had been born and spent her younger years, and the chemistry between us worked. Although we never did anything overtly sexual (just a outwardly innocent casual touch or hug, sitting next to each other on the sofa, secretly making sure our legs touched, etc.), the electricity between us was high voltage. I later learned that my attractions were possibly reciprocated the whole time when ML came on to me once while drunk at a local bar often frequented by Jimmy Buffet.

ML’s wife was also very physically attractive and, ironically, my wife always thought she was the one that might be a potential rival for my affections. She never dreamed the real rival was ML. Up to this time, the “affair” with ML was the closest I had ever come to actually acting on my suppressed same-sex attractions. At that point, I still could not admit to myself what the reality was in terms of my sexual orientation. As much as I was madly in love with ML, I could not fully admit it to myself, and there seemed to be no possibility of future with him other than the continuation of the tortured situation in which he and I found ourselves.

Finally, after four years in Mobile, with me on the verge of making partner in the law firm, my wife was pushing to move back closer to her family. I hated the thought of losing ML, but was afraid to refuse to move. In retrospect, I often gave in to my wife on many issues as a subconscious way of trying to make up to her for my secret inability to be the husband she deserved. After several unsuccessful interview attempts in Virginia (where I was already a member of the bar), we decided that I needed to get more corporate and in-house counsel experience. Thus, for the short term, we moved farther away when I took an in-house counsel position with an oil company in Houston. Due to my oil and gas law background gained in Mobile, I had five job offers from oil companies in less than five weeks, and took a job with the company that offered guaranteed foreign travel.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Divorce Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since 1970

According to USA Today, the U. S. Divorce rate has fallen to the lowest level since 1970, all at the same time that states have been giving more rights to LBGT couples, with Massachusetts leading the way with full marriage rights. ( This is very similar to what has happened in the countries of Northern Europe and EXACTLY the opposite of what the fear and hate merchants of the "Christian" Right have predicted. Here's the article:

No one's sure why, but the USA's divorce rate is at its lowest level in nearly four decades."Despite the common notion that America remains plagued by a divorce epidemic, the national per capita divorce rate has declined steadily since its peak in 1981 and is now at its lowest level since 1970," the Associated Press reports."Yet Americans aren't necessarily making better choices about their long-term relationships. Even those who study marriage and work to make it more successful can't decide whether the trend is grounds for celebration or cynicism," the story says.

"Some experts say relationships are as unstable as ever _ and divorces are down primarily because more couples live together without marrying."The divorce rate grew from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, when it peaked at 5.3 divorces per 1,000 people. The latest figures show that it has been in decline for more than 20 years, falling to a low of 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people right now.Why?

The experts are divided. "It could reflect that more couples are just living together, or that those who do exchange vows tend to do it at an older age," The Star-Telegram reports. "And baby boomers, such a large part of the national population, are now at an age where they are likely to stay in the marriages they have."The marriage breakup rate -- which includes relationships that end in divorce or separation -- is between 40 percent and 45 percent.

Yet more evidence of the dishonesty of the far right.

More Anti-Gay Bigotry in the Military

PageOneQ is reporting that notwithstanding his talent and service to his country, Jason Knight is getting thrown out of the Navy for a second time:

The United States Navy will discharge Petty Officer Second Class Jason Knight less than one month prior to the end of his commitment, reports the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Knight was recalled to duty in 11 months ago and recently completed a tour in Kuwait, where he served as a Hebrew linguist. Knight was repeatedly praised by those who worked alongside and was out of the closet to his commanders and fellow officers.

Navy commanders became aware of Knight's story when he gave an interview to Stars and Stripes. The interview may be read here.

“He’s better than the average sailor at his job,” Knight's supervisor told Stars and Stripes in an interview published Sunday. “It’s not at all a strange situation. As open as he is now, it was under wraps for quite a while. It wasn’t an issue at work,” added leading petty officer Bill Driver.

Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney who have undermined the U. S. Constitution and taken the country to war based on deliberate lies remain in office. What a wonderful country!

Remebrances from the Closet

The last few days have been busy and crazy between the HRBOR launch, work and computer issues. I hope to post Part Three of “My Closet Years" soon. In the meanwhile, I came across an excellent description of the mind set that was my experience all my years in the closet. This description is found in Andrew Sullivan’s book, Virtually Normal. As with Andrew Sullivan:

“… My feelings were too strong and terrifying to do anything but submerge them completely. There are, of course, moments when they took you unawares…. your desire as unavoidable as its object. In that moment, you learn the first homosexual lesson: that your survival depends upon self-concealment. . . . The gay teenager learns in that kind of event a form of control and sublimation, of deception and self-contempt, that never leaves his consciousness. He learns that which would most give him meaning is most likely to destroy him in the eyes of others; that the condition of his friendships is the subjugation of himself. . . . He learns certain rules; and, as with a child learning grammar, they are hard, even later in life, to unlearn.”

While I do not agree with all of Andrew Sullivan’s political views or his apparent continued loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church (which I regard as plagued with an evil and corrupt hierarchy, starting with the Nazi Pope himself), Sullivan is wonderful in his ability to describe the LGBT experience.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Eye Candy

One nice aspect of being out of the closet is not having to pretend you're not attracted to nice looking guys! That is, unless the b/f sees you staring.

Why Is Love So Frightening

As I have said before, I truly do not understand why the Christianists find same sex love so frightening. What could be more in keeping with Christ's dictate to "love one another as I have loved you John 15:13 NIV"?
Of course, then there's this John 13:21-25 KJV:
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
Sounds pretty gay to me.

Hate Crimes and False Christians

Blogernista has an article on why the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes law is so badly needed ( The article describes the brutal gay-bashing of Chris Rico. Chris had to drive himself to the emergency room where he was met with distain from police and emergency technicans. All of this and we have 180 members of Congress including fourteen Democrats who voted against extending the current hate crime law to include LGBT people. Here’s Chris Rico’s description of what happened to him (Chris’ photo is posted above):

I was choking on blood face down on the ground before I even realized what was happening to me. As I struggled to crawl to my feet, I was greeted by thunderous kicks to my ribs and my temple and the venomous and inconceivable cry, “die fucking faggot.” Here in Palm Springs, alone and without warning I was being gay bashed. Two strangers filled with hatred, and clear intent, were trying to end my life simply because of who I am. As I began to realize that my life could end here in this rocky, abandoned lot where they had dragged me from my car, my survival instinct surged from the very core of my being. I began to fight back, take swings, kick, scream. I threw rocks. I grabbed a pipe on the ground and brandished it as a weapon. I’m quite certain that my animalistic rage and the sheer volume of my screams surprised them. Eventually, they slunk back into the night from which they came.

Things like this happen ever day, yet Chimperor Bush wants to veto a law that could help boost public awareness to the problem and perhaps prevent this type of hate based crime. That the Christo-fascists oppose this legislation seaks volumes about the falsity and perversion of their version of Christianity.

Virginia's and "Taliban Bob's" Misplaced Priorities

An article in today’s Washington Post shows the Commonwealth of Virginia’s grossly misplaced priorities when in comes to gun control, particularly now in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Leave it to Robert “Taliban Bob” McDonnell to focus on the interests of the gun retailer lobby. ( Here’s the heart of the article:

“Because of a Virginia law that goes into effect in July, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) and his agents could be charged with a felony if they continue to target Virginia gun dealers with undercover sting operations, McDonnell said.

McDonnell (R) has sent Bloomberg what amounts to a cease-and-desist letter.
"This was a courtesy letter to the mayor to advise him about a change in Virginia law of which he should be aware," McDonnell said Wednesday.

Bloomberg's spokesman, Jason Post, did not seem shaken: "We wish Attorney General McDonnell was as aggressive in enforcing the laws that prevent illegal guns from getting in the hands of criminals as he was in enforcing the laws that protect the gun lobby.

Convinced that illegal gun sales in Virginia contribute to violent crime in his city, Bloomberg has been arming private investigators with hidden cameras and sending them into Virginia gun stores to try to make illegal buys.

The process involves "straw purchases," in which one person legally fills out a form and buys a gun for someone else."

Mr. McDonnell’s nickname comes from his participation in January, 2003 (i.e., prior to the U. S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas), in blocking the reappointment of a black female judge. The unfortunate judge you see was rumored to perhaps be lesbian. When asked by a news reporter if he had ever violated the crimes-against-nature law, which basically made sex other than the missionary position a felony, even between married couples, McDonnell’s response was "Not that I can recall." I guess Bob could not remember if he had gotten gaysted or not. A Daily Press newspaper editorial on the matter from the time can be found at: A photo of Taliban Bob, who wants to run for Governor, is posted above.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wednesday Eye Candy

Just to break the seriousness, here's a photo of Kevin Zegers from the movie Transamerica.

Freedom of (and from) Religion

In his Draft for a Bill to Establish Religious Freedom in Virginia (1779), Thomas Jefferson eloquently explained why religion needed to be separated from civil legal rights and, by extension, politics. As a graduate of “Mr. Jefferson’s university,” I may be somewhat biased about the founder’s ideas. However, I doubt few today can as beautifully describe what this country should be about. Here’s the preamble to his draft of what became the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom:

Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time: That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness; and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous falacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.

How the Christianists can possibly claim that their theocratic agenda is true to the intent of the founding fathers simply defies belief. This also applies to the members of Virginia's General Assembly that supported the anti-gay marriage amendment which flies in the face of Jefferson's vision. A full copy of the draft of Jefferson's bill can be found here:

The Increasingly Insane GOP

There’s a great story in the April 29, 2007 Daily Herald serving central Utah ( that does a wonderful jog of showing just how badly the GOP has been taken over by the lunatic fringe of the “Christian” Right. It was precisely the growing influence of this element in the GOP that caused me to resign from the Party as a matter of conscience a number of years back. This stuff is impossible to make up. Here’s the pertinent part of the story:

Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan's influence on illegal immigrants. The group was unable to take official action because not enough members stuck around long enough to vote, despite the pleadings of party officials. The convention was held at Canyon View Junior High School.

Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty. In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do."

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said. At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."

Republican officials then allowed speakers to defend and refute the resolution. One speaker, who was identified as "Joe," said illegal immigrants were Marxist and under the influence of the devil. Another, who declined to give her name to the Daily Herald, said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because "they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. ... If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do."
Even though I set up the original incorporation documents for the Virginia Beach GOP, now it is increasingly dominated by folks like brother Pat shown above.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Divorce Wars - Continued

The divorce wars continue. Now I have learned that my estranged wife wants to have her attorney take the depositions of both me and the b/f. She has a fantasy that I/we are hiding money from her. Needless to say, the b/f is not happy and her sitting by as her attorney questions him will be drama of the highest caliber. The reality is that her expectations of what I should pay her (ideally forever) far exceed my financial reality. In her mind – I guess much like that of former Gov. McGreevey’s wife – I should be endlessly punished for “what I did to her.”
Especially abhorrent to her is the idea of a full time job, even though she has an M. Ed. from the University of Virginia and all but a dissertation for a Ph.D. from UVA. I guess nearly 30 years of being supported in a rather decent style counts for nothing. Our next hearing on the spousal support issue should be interesting because it is again before the judge who cut her Pat Robertson Regent Law School grad attorney off at the knees when she tried to “play the gay card.” Fortunately, my ex-wife has fired that attorney (who appeared to enjoy gay baiting me) and has hired a new attorney who hopefully will be more able to grasp my financial reality.

While I greatly love and value my kids and would not want them not in my life, my advice to closeted gays who have not yet married and are debating what to do is: REALLY THINK TWICE ABOUT IT!!!!! The pain, sense of guilt (which, on the plus side, my ex-wife has thoroughly killed in me from her viciousness and refusal to be realistic) and emotional baggage may be more than you bargain for. The "ex-gay" advocates of the Christianist far right seem to care nothing for the damage done to the both the straight spouse and the gay spouse when the doomed battle to make one's self straight inevitably fails.
I so want this process over so that I can fully go on with my new life as a gay man. And, in all sincerity, I truly do want my ex-wife to move on in her life and for her to find happiness. In my view, dwelling on punishing me, keeps her from reaching that goal.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gay Parent Child Rearing

There's an interesting story on concerning a Canadian study that compared children raised in same-sex couple homes and "traditional family" structured homes. The results: little or no difference in the children. That's no surprise to me. What is a surprise is that the Conservatives tried to bury the study. I guess they are no different that the christo-fascists of the GOP: never let the truth get in the way of your agenda. The photo is a picture of the b/f and my two oldest children at a happy time before their mother began using them as pawns in the divorce wars. The other is a photo of my youngest daughter a year ago Christmas. Here's part of the story:

(Ottawa) A study prepared for the Canadian government shows children do as well, perhaps better, when reared by same-sex parents as they do by opposite-sex couples. The study has just now become public even though it was commissioned by the government in 2003 leading to accusations that the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper attempted to burry the research.

When the study was ordered the Liberals were in power and courts across the country were beginning to strike down federal restrictions limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. The Liberals went on to legalize same-sex marriage in 2005. The party was defeated the following year by the Tories who promised to revisit the vote. The study on child rearing was not complete until after the Conservatives came to power.

The Shattered Closet

In a couple of recent posts, I have been attempting to describe my experiences and mindset during my many years in the closet. In the wake of the Lord Browne resignation from BP, Andrew Sullivan has a great column in the Sunday Times of London (see the Timesonline at that does a good job in describing Lord Browne’s apparent mindset and my own back then. The pertinent quote is as follows:

“Try to think of it from his perspective. Think of the world that the 59-year-old Browne has inhabited in one lifetime. When he was a teenager, homosexuality was literally unspeakable in polite society. British authorities were injecting the great Alan Turing with hormones to “cure” him of his orientation just as Browne was leaving primary school.

For the first 19 years of his life Browne could have been imprisoned for a relationship with another man. During his formative years of adolescence, Browne learnt what every gay boy or girl had to learn at the time: if you do not keep this a terrible secret you will perish.

Even after being largely de-criminalized in 1967 the culture remained a strong force sustaining the stigma that Browne internalized. In the 1960s and 1970s it was far from easy for an ambitious scientist and businessman to have a life – that is, a mature relationship with another man – while having a serious career. The secrecy and fear that were soldered onto a gay man’s psyche were not as easily detached from the world as a piece of Victorian legislation. And as the gay rights movement first blossomed as a countercultural force, it did not easily include Browne and his ilk – Establishment, mannered, private men and women. . . .

Gays are a unique minority because we are almost all brought up as if we were heterosexuals in heterosexual families. We learn what it is to be gay from the general culture we imbibe as children and teens. As it changes, gay kids change. And quickly.

The difference between a culture that can safely mock “the only gay in the village” as comedy and a culture that would have beaten that gay to a pulp five decades ago is a vast one. And yet we have forgotten it so easily. A gay man who has lived through each of those decades is not in such an easy position.”

One of the commentors on Andrew’s article also had insightful remarks the power of denial and of the self-imposed closet:

“These influences on behaviour are difficult for heterosexuals to understand and even many gays (particularly gay rights radicals and younger gays) have little time or patience for understanding how one's formative experiences can create a glass (or in some cases, concrete) closet of one's own making from which it becomes impossible to break free due to - by adulthood - fundamentally ingrained psychological and behavioural traits.”
While I am not as old as Lord Browne, I am more or less of that generation and can identify closely with some of the societal and emotional constraints that kept him feeling that he could not truly admit parts of his life. Here in Virginia, until the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, homosexual sex, even in the privacy of one's home, was a felony. I will continue my posts about my own experiences and, perhaps if I am successful in my narrative, the mindset of that shackled me and, I suspect many others.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


The wind and waves did not allow me to get out surfing. Sustained winds of 25-35 knots today have turned the waves and shoreline into a washing machine of wind whipped spray and chop. Anyone folish enough to venture out will get beat and surely not get any good rides. Just to prove that I am in fact a surfer, here's photo taken down at Cape Hatteras.

My Closet Years – Part Two

Picking up where I left off, in the fall of 1974 I started law school at the University of Virginia’s School of Law. At first it was daunting, since everyone was in the top of their undergraduate class, and there were plenty of Ivy League grads. The first semester “Paper Chase” hysteria was compounded by the fact that a new law school building had been built (in fact it was not yet completed), so for the first semester only first year students had classes in the new building, although the library was complete. Among my classmates was George Allen, former U. S. Senator for Virginia, Evan Thomas (who was hot in law school), now with Newsweek and the author of a number of books, Congressman, Randy Forbes, and Cynthia Kinser, now on the Virginia Supreme Court.. Many other of my classmates have had likewise distinguished careers.

Meanwhile, my life in the closet continued and, true to form, I soon had a crush on one or more of my classmates. My first year, I lived in a large house with eleven other guys I had known to varying degrees from my undergraduate days, one of whom was a major crush interest. Twelve guys sharing eight bedrooms and three bath rooms led to frequent occasions of seeing each other in the shower and so forth. Seeing my crush interest (who I will call WG) in the shower left me almost dizzy – he was so gorgeous and a sweet guy. When he started dating a girl from the parish college group, I was green with envy. WG graduated at the end of the year and basically left my life forever, although I can still see him clearly in my mind. Socially, I still was involved in the frat house scene and often socialized with undergrads or friends of two of my sisters who were also students at UVA at the time.

As first year progressed, I moved on and eventually had another object of unrequited love in the form of one of my classmates (MP) who ended up being one of my roommates during my second year of law school. First year was very stressful and at numerous times I thought of dropping out as did MP, since both of us had been somewhat pressured by our fathers to go to law school. Talking about our feelings about law school and other things, MP and I became very close. The fact that he was 5’11”, had beautiful dark blues eyes and dark hair, was a former college swimmer, and had the looks of a model obviously did nothing to dissuade me from becoming increasingly infatuated. The long and short of it, we helped each other to remain in law school and spent much of the following summer together since we both had summer jobs in the same city. At times I so wanted to share my feelings with him, but was too afraid of losing his friendship to take the risk. Sometimes looking back, I wonder what would have happened if I had done so. My other roommate second year was equally beautiful, except he was blonde. He likewise was and great guy and I was not lacking for gorgeous surroundings that year.

It was during my second year of law school that I met the woman who would turn out to be my wife. On Fridays, Graduate Student Happy Hour (with $0.25 beer) was the spot one found out what parties were going on for the weekend. Along with one of my law school class mates, one Friday in September, my friend picked up a girl from Charlottesville and I was saddled with having to be the date for one of her friends. One the way to the party hosted by some law students (where we saw future Senator Allen from our class, who was quite the party boy) we stopped to buy some beer and my friend’s date said sheepishly that “she might get drunk.” No truer words were ever said. She got completely inebriated and, to this day, I do not believe I have ever seen a woman so drunk and out of control. My friend soon was trying to act as he’d never met her and did not know her. Meanwhile, her friend and I had definitely NOT hit it off and she ended up picking up another member of our class who she ultimately married.

It was during this disastrous dating adventure that I met my wife to be and ended up talking to her most of the evening. She was beautiful, smart, and better yet, not a law student. I was definitely impressed – or as impressed as a closeted gay 23 year old male (who is still a complete virgin) can be by a woman. Most of the night she stood with her back to the fall since moments after entering the house, she was bit on the butt by a second year law student who now is a member of one of South Carolina’s most prominent law firms. Our next encounter was once on one of the University buses as I was headed to the frat house for a road trip to a local women’s college. I did not even sit with her in my preoccupation with getting to the frat house in time (my car was in the shop and I was running late) before the chartered bus pulled out. Then we met again at another law school party sponsored by a guy in my class who wanted to get people dancing to disco music. After that, we began dating and made a great pair dancing together. We even went to a law professor’s costume Halloween Party as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Indeed, we had fun together and I fell in love with her to the fullest extent a closeted gay ever could.

Never, ever did I let out anything about my secret track record of same sex attraction and crushes on other men. My religion, my family, and society (especially in Charlottesville and conservative UVA) made fully admitting these attractions even to myself something that just could not be. Throughout law school, I continued to attend daily mass and try as hard as I might to “pray the gay away.” If nothing else, the Catholic Church is without rival when it comes to instilling guilt and the hope that somehow God will work a miracle.

After graduation from law school, my former wife and I got married in New York City in a full blown Italian wedding. I remember as clearly as yesterday standing up on the altar as she came down the aisle and thinking to myself, “can I do this.” Due to my religious brainwashing, I told myself that, yes, God would get me through it and that I would be able to suppress my same sex attraction forever. Given my history of crushes on guys, I should have known, I guess, that such thinking was delusional. However, the desire to be what was expected and to deny what I knew deep down somewhere within me was simply too strong. After getting married, we lived in Mobile, Alabama for four years and – as I will describe in another post – the same old attractions soon arose.

3:00 AM Musings

It’s 3:00 AM and I am at my office rather than go home (my office is minutes from my house) and face a fight with the b/f. I went out to The Wave and danced to lose myself in the music. I find it a sort of catharsis to dance and let the music take control. Saturday nights are pretty packed and somewhat erotic with all the cute guys dancing, sometimes shirtless. I so want a stabile relationship in my life, but it seems elusive.