Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Male Beauty

Regression in Norfolk - Loss of Lambda Rising

Last night I happened by the only gay book store in the area, Lambda Rising, and was disturbed to find out that the store will be closing at the end of June. When I asked why the store was closing, I was told that the gay community just did not support the store sufficiently. This is symptomatic of the biggest problem with the gay community here: too many are hiding “under the radar,” they do not support gay vendors and businesses as they should. To me, the area gays need to do what the small but very successful Jewish and Greek area communities have done for many, many years. Namely, when needing a service or commodity, if there is a community member that can provide what is sought as opposed to taking one’s business to a non-community member, they ALWAYS give the business to their fellow community member. Why give business to someone how hates you or doesn’t support your equal rights. To me, it’s a simple concept. I hope that perhaps HRBOR can help this stupidity cease.

As for Lambda Rising, while it has the obligatory gay porn magazines and videos, the bulk of its merchandise is (1) quality books on gay themes and issues or by gay authors, (2) great music CD’s and (3) gay themed movies that – OMG – have a real plot and story line. Among the book section, there are many books on religion and spirituality that I found to be an immeasurable resource in working through my coming out and religious recovery process. It will be a tremendous loss to the LBGT community not to have this resource. The b/f and I will greatly miss the store and will have to take advantage of the going out of business prices to stock up.

Getting In Shape

Spring is here and sadly I need to start taking more affirmative action to get back in shape. I am one who, if possible, would prefer to be able to take a pill as opposed to go to the gym or work out. Therefore, I have started riding my bicycle to the office on weekends and trying to get back to doing situps, etc. I may even have to cut out my nightly glasses of wine for the cause.

My goal is to get back to the shape I was in about 3 years ago (see photo at left - I admit that I might have been a tad intoxicated at the time) and lose about 10 pounds. There is nothing worse than going to the beach or sitting out in the line up surfing (surrounded by eye candy) and feeling that you don't look so good, not that I only focus on looks in a guy. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Gay Murderers from GOP Bastion

Today's Virginian Pilot has a story about the recent arrest of the alleged two murderers of porn producer Bryan Kocis ( I must say that it's ironic that the two men arrested are from GOP dominated Virginia Beach.

During the 2004 presidential election, it was often hard to find a single Kerry/Edwards sign in many parts of VB (as opposed to Norfolk which was part of the "blue archipelego). On the other hand, perhaps it's not - former Congressman Ed Schrock who was outed by Mike Rogers at due to Schrock's Mega Phone ads for gay sex - represented Virginia Beach.

A Great Cartoon - Bob

Talk about divine justice. Of course, there could be Heaven, and God is a feminist lip stick lesbian. Either way, Falwell's screwed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Hate Crime Killing

PageOneQ and Towleroad are reporting an arrest in the recent South Carolina murder of a gay 20 year old(

Kennedy (pictured at left) had left Brew's Bar when a man jumped out of a car and punched him, knocking him to the ground. Kennedy died nearly 17 hours later of injuries sustained during the assault.
The arrest warrant for Moller said "investigators believe the assault was due to the victim's sexual orientation"
according to GreenvilleOnline.

The paper reports: "Master Deputy Michael Hildebrand said the case has been turned over to the FBI who will determine whether or not to proceed with a hate crime investigation. South Carolina doesn't have a statute that covers hate crimes, so a federal agency would have to make the charges, according to the Sheriff's Office. Hildebrand said that witnesses and 'other investigative means' led investigators to Moller. Through the investigation, deputies believe that Moller made a comment about Kennedy's sexual orientation either before or during the assault, according to Hildebrand and the warrant."

While the hate merchants of the "Christian" Right claim that gays don't need "special rights," when is the last time there was a mured of a Christian in the USA based on the religion of the victim? These Christianists disgust me.

A Father's Gift

One thing that I will discuss later in more detail, but wanted to comment upon now - since I saw a photo minutes ago that made me think about it - is how much it meant for me to be accepted by my dad when I came out (a photo of him a few years back is posted above). We had not always had the best relationship because he was stubborn and not at all good at showing his emotions (I believe this due to his having been raised from age 3 onward in an orphanage that had aspects to it like something out of a Charles Dickens novel). Moreover, in my struggle to hid “my terrible secret,” I never let anyone become completely close to me or allowed anyone to fully know me. It was as if a glass wall separated me from everyone. I could be fully myself only when I was alone.

When I came out to my parents – I had originally planned on NEVER telling them – my dad freaked out for a couple days. Mostly, I think, because he was wondering what to say to people about him having a gay child, especially since I had been quite visible in the Virginia Beach community. After that, he was fully supportive. The first time the b/f and I visited my parents, he and my dad hit it off and came to like one another a great deal. Before he died last September, my dad and I reached a closure and sense of peace between us that had eluded us all my life. For that, I know I am very lucky.

To any parents reading this blog, I cannot stress enough to you the wonderful and priceless gift you give to your child when you accept them fully, including their sexual orientation. I am so fortunate that my dad gave me that gift.

Meet My Readers - Part 2

The second of my readers that I would like to introduce is Jim of Though Lovers Be Lost ( based out of Toronto, Canada. Jim has encouraged me in my Blog effort and believes that telling my story may help others to avoid some pit fall or find their way to self-acceptance. He has a great wit and biting sense of humor as his blog displays. He’s His description of himself:

I'm 43, will be 44 in October. I spent over 20 years in the IT/Telecommunications field, most of it on Bay Street (or as we say, a slave in the concrete jungle). During many of those years, I focused solely on career, so, since 2002, I've been slowly getting my own life back. I work for myself, doing some consulting work, the occasional seminar, some speaking.

I'm a book worm, when in the mood, I can devour a book a day. I love music, I usually am listening to one of my CDs loaded in iTunes while I'm working. I love comedy! Some of the comedians I have seen live over the years are Robin Williams, George Carlin, Dave Allen (remember Dave Allen at Large?), Bob Newhart, Red Skelton, Victor Borge, Bob Hope and many others. I have a truly filthy laugh.

I've always subscribed to leave people better than you found them. Another favourite is listen intently, love intensely.
I enjoy writing, as you can tell from some of the lengthier essays on my blog. I finally got into blogging after a few friends pushed me to give it a go. I can be opinionated at times, grumpy at others :) I have a low tolerance for BS. Working for one firm, I developed a highly sensitive BS detector. :)
I encourage you to check out Jim's Blog.

More Friday Male Beauty

Gay Democrats Flex Some Muscle

Perhaps the LGBT citizens of Virginia are about to start flexing some muscle instead of blindly endorsing incumbents. I live in a different district, so I cannot directly support Henry Light. Excerpts of the story are set out below. The full story is found in the Washington Blade (

Va. gay group backs challenger in Assembly race Gay Incumbent Joannou has frequently sided with GOP, frustrating some.

By ELIZABETH PERRY Friday, May 18, 2007

For the first time in its 15-year history, the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club has come out against a Democratic incumbent in a General Assembly race and endorsed his rival in the primary, which is scheduled for June 5. Last week, the gay group announced its endorsements for 24 incumbent Virginia legislators for the fall races.

John Joannou (D-Portsmouth) has represented the 79th District, which includes parts of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth, since 1998. His challenger is Henry Light, a retired attorney who has been active in various civic, charitable and professional organizations in the South Hampton Roads area.

Light has attracted the attention of former Gov. Mark Warner, who is expected to endorse him at a fund-raising breakfast in Portsmouth Saturday.

Both candidates were contacted by the Blade for interviews, but Joannou did not respond. He also did not respond to the Partisan’s candidate questionnaire on gay issues. Light filled out the questionnaire and talked to the Blade. In his questionnaire answers and in an interview with the Blade, Light said he believes in equality, tolerance and a “level playing field” for everyone.

“I have always sought to be totally inclusive in all of my personal and professional relationships,” he said. “I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness and that no one has the right to deny that freedom to anyone. Laws aimed at punishing people for their sexual orientation are gross violations of the rights of those individuals.”

Friday Male Beauty

I know he's a professional model, but I think he's beautiful in a natural looking way.

The Increasingly Brutal GOP

Andrew Sulliavn ( has a great post that illustrates (1) the decline in the USA's moral standing in the view of much of the world under Dear Leader, George W. Bush and Herr Cheney, and (2) Dear Leader's failure to live up to even his father's morality:

A reader has a literary insight into the current president and the creeping brutalism of the GOP:
On a long plane ride the other day I came upon a passage in James Bradley's "Flyboys" that you may not have seen, and that touches on the history of torture, how abberant this is for us. It's an account of the air war over Japan in World War Two, and about, among other things, the inhumanity of the Japanese captors towards American pilots. A downed pilot named Nielson remembers:

"I was given what they call the water cure. I was put on the floor with my arms and legs stretched out, one guard holding each limb. A towel was wrapped around my face and water was poured on. They poured water on this towel until I was was almost unconscious from strangulation, then they would let up until I'd get my breath, then they'd start all over again. I felt more or less like I was drowning, just gasping between life and death."

As Bradley points out, this torture had been used by Americans in the Phillipines, to general scandal and American outrage; there's an account in Morris's " Theodore Rex". When news of these tortures, along with the execution-murders of American prisoners, reached the U.S., the headline in the TIMES ran:


The hero of the book is, of course, one of the flyboys who ran these risks of torture and killing at the hands of a government that defied the Geneva Convention: George H. W. Bush.
It is a travesty that the GOP has done nothing to rein in Dear Leader and his hench men.

Meet My Readers

The first of my readers that I would like to introduce is Euphoric from Real Euphoria ( out of Australia. Euphoric describes himself as follows:

I’m 35 and don’t mind getting older. I think part of it is I know I look good for my age, probably due to the youthful blessings of genetics. Career wise I spent 10 years or so in marketing and advertising, primarily in Sydney. But after while I got fed up with plastic world and unethical expectations on me just to make shareholders happy! I didn’t like working around people who didn’t have an eye on the future but merely on appearances. So I quit, picked up and moved to Queensland where I made a choice to only work for a not for profit. I truly wanted my job to benefit the community. So I looked at opportunities and took one. Since then I have had one job change but have stayed in the sector. It helps when you love what you do.

I love Euphoric’s belief in love and his way of looking at relationships. His posts frequently really touch my heart and mind. I am glad to have come to know him through his Blog. I will let Euphoric tell you a bit more about himself:

All my bloging friends know that I am a relationship kinda guy. So being single at the moment gives me time to think and work on myself. I remember relationships I have been in and how after you have been seeing each other for sometime how you become complacent. Not in every way, but because you are concentrating on the practicalities that come with life you spend more time thinking about that and less about what made you fall in love in the first place. I remember someone once saying that when you wake up every day you should thank the universe for giving you this person. Everyday remember the things you love about them and everyday tell them you love them (and mean it).

I recommend his blog, Real Euphoria, without qualification.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Readers

I thrilled that I am getting visitors from around the USA and other parts of the world. Taking a note from Real Euphoria, I'd love to know who some of you are. and introduce you to others. 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. While several guys have promised to send information, I am still waiting on someone to be my first reader introduced. If you want to be anonymous, simply say so and your identity will be protected. My e-mail is

Majority of Americans Favor Expanded Hate Crimes Act

The Gallup Poll ( is reporting as follows:

May 17, 2007
Public Favors Expansion of Hate Crime Law to Include Sexual Orientation Majorities of Republicans, conservatives, and frequent church attenders in favor.
by Frank Newport
PRINCETON, NJ -- A substantial majority of the American public favors the expansion of federal hate crime legislation to include crimes against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed such legislation, which is now being considered by the Senate. Republicans, conservatives, and religious Americans are slightly less likely than others to favor the expansion of hate crime legislation, but a majority of those in each of these conservative and religious groups favors the proposed legislation.

Here's how the opinions broke out:

There is a proposal to expand federal hate crime laws to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim's gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Would you favor or oppose expanding the federal hate crime laws in this way?

Favor Oppose
% %
TOTAL 68 27
Republicans 60 34
Independents 69 27
Democrats 75 21
Conservatives 57 37
Moderates 74 22
Liberals 82 15
Protestant and other
non-catholic Christians 65 30
Catholics 72 23
Other religion 74 23
No religious identity 74 25

Jerry Falwell must be gnashing his teeth in Hell over this poll. Too bad Chimperator Bush will probably ignore the desires of the American people. I hope he continues to lead the wing nut controlled GOP to electoral disaster so that the GOP can someday again be what it once was.

More Male Beauty

My Closet Begins to Shatter

August 1999 started out normally, with life for me centering around my family, the neighborhood pool, surfing, weekly yard work, and work at the office. On August 9, 1999, my oldest daughter began to feel ill and left field hockey practice (she was co-captain of her high school team) and went home. As the evening and night went on, she continued to feel worse, with a severe head ache and neck pains. Finally, I took her to the local Emergency Room where her condition went into free fall. An experienced nurse (a UVA grad it turned out) recognized the tell tale small hemorrhage spots just beginning to show on her skin and literally ran and got my daughter rushed from triage to an ER bed and I was told that I needed to call my wife and have her get to the hospital immediately, no showering, no nothing.
It was at this point I was told that my daughter had meningitis and that the situation was extremely grave and that they might lose her. Needless to say, this new is among the worse that any parent can ever receive and I was numb with shock. My wife quickly arrived at the hospital and we were told that they would attempt to stabilize my daughter and then transport her to Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters (“CHKD”) in Norfolk, which had the best ICU in the area, via mobile ICU unit. They gave my daughter 2 million units of penicillin to kill the meningococcal bacteria and various other medications to stabilize her. Once they succeeded in that effort, we followed the mobile ICU unit into Norfolk and then proceeded to the ICU unit. While driving to CHKD I felt my world was collapsing. Faced with the thought that my daughter might likely die, I could not imagine the world going on. Ultimately, my daughter was in the ICU unit for 9 days, and it was only the morning of August 12th – my birthday – that the doctors were confident that she was turning the corner, although they could not confirm how extensive damage to her body or brain might be. Ironically, the head doctor whose first name is “Santa” - meaning saint - was the one that broke us the good news that she was going to live.
During this initial period, a media circus had begun to ensue since all the members of my daughter’s high school field hockey team had to be treated for exposure, as did some 300 people from the neighborhood pool where my daughter was assistant coach of the swim team, and a number of children of foreign NATO personnel who had been at a party with my daughter. Through the efforts of one of my law partners, my daughter’s name was kept off the local TV news, although pictures appeared on TV of her high school, the pool and CHKD. Meanwhile, the rest of my family received further shock. During the first day in ICU, we spoke with my mother in Florida where my middle sister lived and we were told that my sister had cancer that was likely to be terminal. As a family we had always considered ourselves lucky and spared from tragedy. Now, we had been hit twice in a single day.
For my part, I had to be the strong one and hold things together for my wife and my other two children. Ultimately, my daughter was in the hospital a total of 22 days (with my wife and I alternating nights spent at the hospital) and then had to go to out patient therapy for many, many weeks, initially 5 days a week. Her recovery though over a long period was complete and she was able to return to school and even play field hockey. CHKD even wrote her up as one of its miracle cases. Here’s a portion of the October 26, 1999, local newspaper story about her recovery (I have omitted her first name):
VIRGINIA BEACH – [__] Hamar's yearning to suit up and return to the Princess Anne field hockey cage was powerful - a force even stronger than the bacterial meningitis that took her out of action at the beginning of the season. Hamar has made a fantastic two-month recovery from the potentially fatal infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. So much so, in fact, that she has seen action in two games.
Before this point, however, the stress had been extreme. Compounding the stress was the fact that despite good health insurance, between the co-pay stop loss we owed and the out patient therapy costs which far exceeded the medical insurance policy limits, our finances were being severely impacted. It was in this stressed out state that I headed off to a seminar in Chicago in mid-September, 1999 (photos of the scene the seminar are posted above), where I had previously registered to be a panelist, having attended this yearly seminar for over 13 years. The first night of the seminar, I went to a cocktail party in the convention hotel put on by various vendors at the seminar and proceeded to get fairly drunk. I normally do not drink to excess, but being still stressed by the trauma of the last six or seven weeks, the free alcohol was too tempting, I guess. In any event, my years of studious attempts to check out guys unnoticed apparently failed me in my intoxicated state. Soon a very nice looking male associate from another law firm (it turned out he was 29) was talking to me and definitely acting interested in me.
After a while and as the cocktail event was winding down, he suggested we go to his room and have another drink from the room mini-bar and I acquiesced, although extremely nervous at this point. Once we were in the room and more drinks were prepared, he came over to me and looked me in the eyes and then kissed me firmly on the mouth. My heart nearly stopped and alarm bells were going off in my mind at this point to stop it, but it felt so nice. The long and the short of it is that the kiss was only the beginning, and my rule that I wasn’t gay because I had never been with a guy could no longer support my denial. Worse yet, it all felt so right and satisfied an inner need and longing in me as nothing ever had before.
The following morning I was in a panic, most particularly worrying about what to do and how could I convince myself that the night before had never happened. The day after that, I returned home carrying a huge secret and new emotional and mental burden. What to do, what to do?

Thursday Male Beauty

Why I Am Telling My Story

I have received some great comments and responses to my story of my closet years (which will soon move on to the details of the shattering of my closet and how I survived the transition). While there has been huge progress in gay rights since the time I first realized I was different and had same sex-attraction, I believe that there are still many, many men of my generation in particular among others, who are still in the closet and suffering the torment I experienced. It is my hope that my story will help these individuals and others to (1) realize they are not alone, (2) stop the self-hate we so often suffer and the suppression of their own uniqueness, and (3) have the courage to be who God made them to be. The more of us that can make the transition, the sooner sexual orientation will become a non-issue for all but the most extreme homophobic wing nuts, who in my view have a special place reserved for them in Hell.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Closet Years - Part Five

In telling my story, I left off with my return to Virginia and private law practice. We moved to Virginia because I was already admitted to the Virginia Bar and, at the time, neither my wife nor I wanted to raise children in New York City. Returning to private law practice meant putting up again with the office politics of a reasonably large law firm and the self-identified “macho” types that are all too prevalent in the legal profession. This unfortunately included being compelled at times to participate in the bar association soft-ball league games. Not being good at the sport, I naturally went on high alert with fears that somehow my secret might become obvious based on my lack of playing ability. The only plus was that there were a couple of hot guys in the firm who looked great in shorts and shirtless, although I made studied efforts to never be caught looking.

Soon we had settled into a typical suburban pattern, with my wife staying at home with my oldest daughter, who was joined by her brother in September of 1985. He was born as Hurricane Gloria was sweeping towards a direct hit to Hampton Roads, making for tension in the labor and delivery room. The storm at the last minute veered out to sea, saving the area from huge devastation. (We had lived in Mobile when Hurricane Frederic scored a direct hit, so we knew well the type of damage that would have occurred - the best part of Frederic had been the almost communal living that had gone on with ML and our wives). Pat Robertson, of course claimed he had “prayed the storm away.” Subsequently, my younger daughter was born in 1989, fortunately with no impeding hurricane off the coast.

Being with a good size law firm meant a number of things, including (1) getting involved in civic and other organizations, not because it was the right thing to do, but to make contacts, (2) originating business, (3) treating the secretaries and paralegals as somehow something less than human, and (4) always watching your back against back stabbing by one’s supposed friends. While we would have several functions for the entire staff and their families each year where feigned camaraderie by the partners was the norm and statements were made that the most important assets of the firm were its employees, the real story was quite different. In actuality, everything was about money and the bottom line and all civic activity involvement was cynically calculated. In short, even after I made partner, I had to sell my soul and “play the game” to get along. It's ironic that immoral - although not illegal conduct - was acceptable, while being gay was not and as a result, I was trapped in the closet.

Given the cut throat reality of my job environment, being gay was obviously nowhere remotely among things “The Firm” would have approved of or condoned. (In this regard, little seems to have changed: for the recent HRBOR launch, I contacted five of the area’s largest law firms and no one was interested in being a sponsor, and only one had the courtesy of responding at all). Therefore, I continued living my life as an actor, playing the role that was expected. While it seems crazy in retrospect, at this point I still did not think of myself as gay. After all, I had never done anything with another guy, and, therefore, I couldn't possibly be gay notwithstanding the crushes on and attraction to guys over the years since I was about age 12.

Over the years, I changed law firms and found better and more moral atmospheres but never to a point that being gay was acceptable. It turned out that the last large “established” firm I was a member of was more like the first firm in this area I had joined back in 1983. I did in time come out at work in 2003 on a very discrete basis, but I kept a very low profile in terms of my sexual orientation. Ultimately, it merged with another firm at the end of 2004 and, in my opinion, I was one of the partners excluded from the merger because members of the other firm involved in the merger held political grudges against me (I had publicly asked one to resign from office when an illegal $12 million deficit was experienced by the Virginia Beach school division and opposed another in the firing of the head of the gifted education department). Now, I have my own law firm where I can follow my own political and activist objectives and be 100% out. None of my straight clients seem to care, and I have acquire a good number of gay LGBT clients too.

During these years I was joined and/or was involved in a number of civil organizations, including PTA’s, being a member and officer of my civic league, being a board member and two term president of the neighborhood pool, four term president of a local gifted and talented education advocacy organization, board membership on the local committee to prevent child abuse, eight terms on the City Committee for the Republican Party for the City of Virginia Beach, and a run for school board in 1994 (I lost by a small margin because the local teachers’ union candidates labeled me as “Christian Right”). At the neighborhood pool, I even was a regular participant in the adult volley ball games - not because I enjoyed it, but because it was the "guy" thing to do (surprisingly, I was a half way decent player).
I enjoy being a father and tried to spend weekend time with my kids (since private law practice involves long hours), including going to the beach, visiting my parents who lived fairly close by with the kids, hiking in a beautiful state park, going to movies, and numerous surf trips to the Outer Banks with my son and his friends. Between figure skating competitions for my oldest daughter, swim meets for the summer swim league, and numerous other kids sporting events, I spent countless hours hanging out with other parents. I guess stereotypically, I always got along better with the moms as opposed to most of the other dads (most of whom were NOT hot). Sadly, my inner struggle to suppress my true self, struggle with my self hate, and the need to keep up the act of being straight and father in a perfect suburban family often made me short tempered and tense. Looking back, perhaps I’d have been a better father if I had come out of the closet long before I did. It’s one of those things I will never know for certain.

I joined the GOP originally because of education issues. In Virginia Beach and most of Virginia, the affiliates of the National Education Association are allied with the Democrat Party. As the father of three academically gifted children, my wife and I were continually confronted with the problem of our children not being challenged in school. What gifted education differentiation that did exist was not adequate, especially for my son who has never been “a teacher pleaser” even though he is highly intelligent. The main opponent for the expansion of gifted education services was the local NEA affiliate. Since the Democrats did not want to antagonize the NEA affiliates whose members overwhelmingly supported them at the polls, the GOP was the natural place to find a home in Virginia Beach if one was pushing for more rigorous education standards, fiscal responsibility in the school division, etc. I felt this was especially true after the 1994 school board election where I was continually labeled “Christian Right” by the NEA affiliate and made to feel almost like a criminal. Moreover, NEA affiliates from 17 other states had sent money to influence the 1994 school board elections in Virginia Beach. The local NEA affiliate had needed an enemy and eminent danger to raise funds and I and several others who were candidates for other seats on the school board unknowingly furnished them with an enemy.

On the religion front, I continued to go to weekly mass and silently hope for a miracle cure that would end my attraction to guys. I even joined the Knights of Columbus and attained 4th Degree membership. Alas, no cure occurred. Thus my life continued up until late summer of 1999 when family crisis struck and my closet began to shatter.

Wednesday Eye Candy

Among the many places I want to go someday are Brazil and Australia. This guy looks like a guy one would see in Rio.

Pets Can Be Such Characters

The b/f and I have two pets. One is Bela, a 4 year old Belanese cat that weighs over 20 pounds and who thinks that the house is his domain and that the rest of us live there at his sufferance. The other is Bandit, a 2 year old Chihuahua that enjoys constantly harassing Bela and challenging the cat’s position as the "alpha animal." Often Bandit likes to tackle the cat and then flee for safety. This photo shows a recent surprise attack by Bandit.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wayne Besen on Falwell

Here are my friend Wayne Besen's comments on Falwell's passing. Wayne and I worked together in exposing Falwell's ex-gay protoge/poster boy, Michael Johnston, as a fraud. The details of Michael Johnston's story of fraud and deception can be found here: I fully understand Wayne's feelings:

Fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell was found unconscious in his office today and rushed to a hospital in Lynchburg, Virginia, but later died, according to various media reports. Falwell made his fortune on the backs of GLBT people. He degraded them and formed the Moral Majority in an effort to ruin America and turn it into a fundamentalist nation. Before he turned his wrath to gay people, he was a staunch opponent of interracial marriage and was pro-segregation. He certainly was a busy man.Won't the good preacher be shocked when he finds himself at the gates of Hell this morning! Man, I would love to post that video on YouTube. I must go now and mourn, as I can hardly contain my sorrow.

Love and Tenderness

In contrast to the hate filled message of the likes of Mr. Falwell, here's a picture of love and tenderness.

Death of a Theocrat

I returned from a meeting this afternoon to learn that Jerry Falwell had died around noon time today. While I generally do not wish anyone ill, much less death, I’d be lying if I said I thought the disappearance of Mr. Falwell from Virginia’s political scene is a loss for the state. In fact, I hope that Mr. Falwell’s passing may help to begin the restoration of Virginia to its one time age of enlightened. As a Virginia resident, I have always considered Mr. Falwell and Pat Robertson (and Mike Farris and Charles Colson) to be among the State of Virginia’s larger embarrassments.

It has, in fact, baffled me at times how a state that produced the brilliance of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Mason, and Monroe, among others, could come to have more notoriety for its wingnut theocrats who want nothing more than to destroy the freedom of religion the illustrious founding fathers from Virginia designed. Mr. Falwell certainly did his part to tarnish Virginia’s reputation. He certainly was no friend to gay Americans. A sampling of statements from the Virginian Pilot’s article on Falwell is as follows:

“One of the largest outcries came in 2001 after Falwell, on a broadcast of “The 700 Club,” said that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were prompted by God’s wrath toward pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals and the American Civil Liberties Union. “All of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen,’” he said, during an interview with Virginia Beach religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who hosts “The 700 Club” for his Christian Broadcasting Network.

This so-called “religious right” coalesced behind the Republican Party because the Democratic Party “began to embrace all the radical extremist groups in the country – the feminists, the homosexuals, abortionists, the left-wingers, you name it,” Falwell said in 1996.”

Hopefully, God will not judge Mr. Falwell as harshly and as un-lovingly as he judged others. Imagine Falwell’s shock at the gates of Heaven if Jesus turns out to have been gay. Here's the Task force comment on Falwell's passing:
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive DirectorNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
“The death of a family member or friend is always a sad occasion and we express our condolences to all those who were close to the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America’s anti-gay industry, someone who exacerbated the nation’s appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified us for political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation.”

Monday, May 14, 2007

Male Beauty for Monday

Surfing Can Be Scary

This weekend was another one of no decent waves and/or crappy weather. I seriously need to get back into surfing regularly, both for (1) the therapy aspect - when you are our in the line up, especially in larger waves, all focus is on the ocean and waves (and ocassional eye candy) - and (2) the good exercise aspect. The photo above - which I call "Huge Hatteras" - is deceiving unless you realize that the shore break was about 8 feet where it was hitting the beach.
The photo is from a surf trip to the North Carolina Outerbanks (Pea Island area) about five summers back that some of us from Christian Surfers (the story of my membership to be discussed in a future post) took when a hurricane was about 300 miles offshore and generating huge surf of at least 15+ feet. My son and two of his friends were along with me. I seriously thought I was going to drown that day when I was slammed by a rougue wave out at the farthest break zone and taken almost all the way down to the bottom.
I decided after that episode that I'd leave the really big waves to others.

A Daily Prayer

I came across this somewhere that I do not now recall and I think it does a great job of describing the type of relationship that I believe most of us are seeking (whether gay or straight) and, hopefully, find. I certainly identify with the thoughts.

The Self-Evident Question That's Never Asked

Richard Rothstein over at QueerSighted ( has a great post on the ridiculousness on a constitutional basis for the anti-gay position of the Christianists controlling the GOP:

“Would Mitt Romney publicly pose a challenge to full civil rights for black Americans? Would he stand at a podium and suggest that Hispanics are not entitled to the core American promise of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Would he appear on national television and deny inter-racial couples the right to marry? Obviously not. He would be met with national outrage that would dwarf the controversy that followed recent racist remarks by Don Imus.

But Romney--and too many other politicians--are free to talk about our rights openly, brazenly and with disdain and contempt--as if we're not even in the room. I don't mean to sound glib about this, but sometimes don't you feel like standing in front of the TV set and shouting: "Hey! We're standing right here! Hello! We exist. And guess what? We're American citizens not test tube subjects." Not since antebellum America has a group of people and their right to equality and basic human rights been publicly and nationally discussed and debated by Presidential candidates as if some humans have a divinely ordained right to determine the fate of other humans.”

A similar line of questioning is posted at Bloggernista (

“So, if as Romney said, “we’re all children of the same God,” why does he think that LGBT people should be denied the legal and economic benefits of marriage and other rights that heterosexual people take for granted on a daily basis? Shouldn’t he have to explain why he fought tooth and nail to overturn marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachsetts? Or, is this really just another cynical attempt on his part to suck up to political trogolodytes like James Dobson and Pat Robertson while bashing LGBT people and our families to get elected?”

Why is it that NO ONE in the mainstream media has the balls and courage to ask these pandering politicians and their "political trogolodytes" (I love that term!!) masters this direct question and draw these analogies? Are they afraid Daddy Dobson and others of the lunatic fringe will threaten a boycott?
The mainstream news media is losing readers and viewers daily. Could it just be that the public is tired of a media that acts as the lap dog of the Christianists and the Bush White House? I know we watch less and less of the main network news because (1) it focuses too much on non-issues in the grand scheme of things (e.g., American Idol, Anna Nicole, etc.), and (2) seems to abandoned investigative reporting.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Welcome to My Truth

Via Real Euphoria, I discovered a new Blog, Welcome to My Truth (, that has wonderful wit and attitude. One post particularly struck home – namely on how superficial and focused on looks many gay guys can be. Coming out much later in life, at times I felt that I was already a “has been” before I ever got started in my new gay life. In this area where so many LGBT people exist under the radar (particularly the large number of gays in the military stationed in Norfolk), often the only venue for meeting people is either on line or in clubs, where all the emphasis is on youth and beauty.

I will admit to enjoying looking at a beautiful guy (see photo at left) as much as any gay male, but for anyone to be b/f material they need to have intelligence and a good heart. The b/f has both and deep down in me, that’s what is the most attractive about him. Looks will fade and bodies will age, but these aspects will continue on forever. Each of us has our own story, and many of us older guys have experienced and learned truths that the younger generation of gays will never know because of the advancement in the acceptance of LGBT people in general. I hope all of us can be a little kinder to one another and less judgmental based soley on appearance. There are plenty of folks who hate us - even though they don’t even know us - without us inflicting pain on one another.

Recovering Christian

Given my religious background growing up, one of the biggest obstacles for me in accepting the reality that I was gay was all of the anti-gay propaganda put out by organized religion. The Roman Catholic Church is without peer in this regard, except for perhaps the Southern Baptists under their current leadership and fundamentalist Muslims. Growing up as an altar boy from age 8 to 18, serving at daily mass, and then later attending mass as part of my self-initiated and semi-conscious “ex-gay” regime, I was about as steeped in fire and brimstone as one could get.

After the event that forced me to eventually accept my sexuality (which will be described in a future post) – and after not being immediately struck down thereafter by God, as expected – a big part of my recovery process was seeking out books on Christianity and early Church history that took a far different view than what I had been previously taught. John Shelby Spong has a number of wonderful books that review the Bible and background of the Gospels that were a tremendous help to me. I would urge anyone who is in the place spiritually that I once was to read as much as possible to learn that, in fact, the standard doctrine may in fact be WRONG, and perhaps deliberately so. The early Church was full of power struggles and varied agendas that molded the final version of the New Testament to meet the needs of those seeking power. A recent book I read, ”The Man Who Jesus Loved,” written by a Biblical scholar, shows that much of the lies propounded by the “family values” crowd conflict with what may be the real teachings of Jesus and even St. Paul (who is NOT one of my favorite church fathers, since he continued to cling to the certain of the legalistic purity laws of Leviticus) concerning marriage.

The second step in the recovery process is to LEAVE the church of your upbringing if it does nothing but make you suffer from guilt and self-hatred. Read the Gospels and it is clear that this was not what Jesus taught or stood for. Rather, he was very much the revolutionary that put the spirit of the law ahead of the letter of the law. Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness, caring for others, etc., is utterly irreconcilable with the message of hate put out by the current Nazi Pope and the James Dobsons of the world. My first stop on my quest for a new church was the Episcopal Church since it was close to Catholic, but nowhere near as anti-gay. Fortunately, during this time period the sex abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church began to explode and it became obvious to me that the Church hierarchy was totally corrupt and full of complete hypocrites. These were the last people to be telling me that I was sinful in view of what the hierarchy, including John Paul II, had allowed to go on for literally decades. Eventually, I even did a guest editorial in the Virginian Pilot in February, 2002, that took the Catholic Church to task (this article is set out at the end of this post).

Needless to say, my mother flipped out when I ceased to be a Catholic – although when I visit her, I do go to Church with her, even though I have to bite my tongue and fight the urge to wear a shirt that says “God Made Me Gay” or some such verbiage in protest. After a year or so as an Episcopalian, I by pure chance attended an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (“ELCA”) parish after moving into Norfolk from Virginia Beach and found what I believe will be my permanent spiritual home. While the ELCA still has a ways to go on gay issues, it is light years ahead of the Catholic Church, yet has what is almost virtually a Catholic mass service. Moreover, its sister church, the Church of Sweden is on the verge of providing church commitment services for LGBT couples. Even my mother, after reading the worship hand out ceased in fretting that I was surely going to Hell for leaving the Catholic Church. I would strongly recommend any recovering Catholics to give the ELCA a serious look. I am not suggesting that I don’t on occasion still have some religious hang ups, but the distance I have come is remarkable and I probably feel the best about myself ever in my life time.

In any event, here’s the February, 2002, guest editorial piece (and yes, it felt great writing it and seeing it published). I love exposing hypocrites:

Bigotry Claim Is Disingenuous

As a life long Catholic, former altar boy, and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, I was dismayed by Bishop Walter F. Sullivan’s letter to the editor (Virginian Pilot, January 30, 2002) decrying the editorial cartoon carried by the Virginian Pilot on January 21, 2002, focusing on the Catholic Church’s track record in respect to pedophile clergy. Bishop Sullivan would have readers believe the cartoon is “pure bigotry” against the Catholic Church. The reality is that the Catholic Church hierarchy is most vigorous in instilling guilt and a sense of sinfulness in its members on a host of topics ranging from birth control, divorce (on January 28, 2002, Pope John Paul II directed all Catholic lawyers and judges to refrain from taking divorce cases, Associated Press), remarriage by divorced Catholics, and in-vitro fertilization, to attendance at non-Catholic church services. Yet, the Catholic Church hierarchy has shown little vigor in weeding out pedophile priests or disciplining high Church officials who knew of sexual abuse problems but did not act to stop it.

The editorial cartoon carried by the Virginian Pilot surely arose from the on-going scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston where, due to unrelenting reporting by the Boston Globe on the lawsuits against former priest, John J. Geoghan, it has been disclosed that over the last 10 years, the Archdiocese has quietly settled child molestation claims against at least 70 priests. Church records turned over under court order, document that five (5) bishops and two (2) cardinals knew of Geoghan’s child molestation, yet he was repeatedly reassigned to new, unsuspecting parishes (Boston Globe, January 31, 2002). Unfortunately, the situation in Boston is not an isolated incident as shown by a very brief search on the Internet:

**The Catholic Church in Ireland has offered a $110 Million global settlement to compensate children who suffered abuse by members of religious orders - under the settlement formula, the total cost could go as high as $430 Million (New York Times, February 1, 2002).

**On January 30, 2002, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Tucson, settled sexual abuse cases against 4 priests for an undisclosed sum, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles having previously paid $5.2 Million in 2001 to settle sexual molestation cases (Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2002).

**Sexual abuse cases against 6 priests settled by the Catholic Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut in early 2001 (New York Times, March 14, 2001).

**The Archdiocese of Portland agreed to a sealed settlement when sued by 22 men alleging sexual abuse as boys by priests (Seattle Times, October 7, 2000).

**Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia settles for an undisclosed sum with 80 victims of sexual abuse by 21 priests (The Age, November 21, 1999).

I**n 1998, the Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $31 Million to 12 altar boys who suffered repeated sexual abuse (Dallas Morning News, August, 1998).

**In 1998, the Diocese of Stockton, California agreed to pay $30 Million to settle lawsuits for sexual abuse (San Francisco Chronicle, January 28, 2002).

**In 1993, it was determined by the Franciscan Friars of California that 11 friars at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara had abused at least 34 boys (Associated Press, August 3, 2000).

**Since 1991, more than 40 lawsuits have been filed against at least 12 priests in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1993).
**In the 1980's, the Diocese of New Orleans paid $22 Million to dozens of victims of 7 priests (Boston Globe, February 3, 2002).

The common theme throughout all these incidents is that (i) bishops and other high church officials knew of the abuse situations yet failed to remove offending priests from the ranks of the clergy, and (ii) offending priests were routinely merely transferred to new parishes, the Church’s main concern being to keep it all quiet. Not until faced with multi-million dollar lawsuits and/or until the priests were under criminal prosecution was decisive action taken to remove abusive priests from their positions. Equally unsettling is the fact that no bishops (or in the Boston case, a Cardinal) have been removed from office in consequence of their failure to protect the children of their diocese’s parishes.

Bishop Sullivan would have better served the needs of the Diocese of Richmond by explaining what safeguards, if any, are in place to prevent a situation like that unfolding in Boston from happening in his diocese. Bishop Sullivan’s cry of bigotry is disingenuous at best.