Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pro-Gay Marriage Ads Recall Virginia's Shame

The Miami Herald is reporting that a coalition of civil rights groups that back gay marriage is using photos of prominent mixed race couples in an advertising campaign marking the 40th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, a U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave interracial couples the right to marry. (The photo at left is of the plaintifs in that landmark case). See the story at While Virginia was in the forefront of enlightened thought in the years of the founding fathers of the USA, it long held a place of shame with the Jim Crow laws, anti-miscegenation laws, and massive resistance to school desegregation. In fact, there are still a few public buildings existing where one can see that there were separate restrooms for blacks and whites (the ones for whites were always nicer). Here's a portion of the story:

''We're honoring and celebrating something that just over 40 years ago some Americans said was immoral and wrong and could not happen,'' said Jimmy Creech, executive director of Faith in America, a gay rights advocacy group that is bankrolling the ad campaign. ``We're celebrating the wisdom that prejudice and bigotry was removed from the law books and Americans were given the right to marry the person they loved, regardless of race.''

The ''Freedom to Marry'' campaign -- to be launched Monday -- consists of six ads that will run in two Capitol Hill publications, Roll Call and Politico. They feature photos of interracial couples like golfer Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin, and former U.S. Defense Secretary Bill Cohen and his wife, Janet Langhart, who have written a book about their marriage, Love in Black and White. Couples of different ethnicities, like Bush and Martinez, also are featured.

Others in the ad: Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, and Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and his wife, Hong Le.

The ads note that 16 states still banned interracial marriages until the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law in 1967, finding ``the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
Not surprisingly, many of those who opposed interracial marriage were "conservative Christians" who used the Bible to justify their bigotry. Somethings never change.

More Saturday Male Beauty

Divorce Wars - Eve of Battle

On Monday afternoon I have another hearing in Court in the ongoing divorce war with the estranged wife. I suspect she and her latest attorney – she fired the woman attorney from Regent Law School - will again try to play the “gay card” even though the judge in charge of the hearing has previously smacked her down on this issue (plus suggested she get a real job). I hope to get an order entered that will prohibit her and her attorney from venturing into the issue of sexual orientation during the depositions of me and the b/f on Tuesday afternoon. I have every expectation that she and her attorney would like to try to humiliate me for being gay and make it nasty for the b/f, so I truly hope the judge cuts them off at the knee caps again.

What I truly do not understand is that while she wants to wring every possible dollar out of me, she just doesn’t get it that if she trashes me, hurts my law practice, etc. I will be LESS able to pay her money!! Hello!! What’s so hard to figure out here??? Sadly, none of her attorneys seem to get it either.

In any event, what she doesn’t get is that I am NOT ashamed to be gay. Granted, that was not always the case, but after 37 years of Hell in the closet, lots of therapy and all that’s been involved in coming out, I am now GAY AND PROUD. I guess she’s the one ashamed that I am gay – and probably embarrassed that during 24 years of marriage she claims she never figured it out. As they say, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Trashing me may give her temporary pleasure and glee, but it’s actually counter productive. In my view, her current conduct gives credence to those who say women are inherently irrational.
The photo at left is not one of her, but to me reflects her current mind set - punish me and hurt me. I have never wanted this to be nasty, but she is not giving me much choice and is truly a fool if she thinks I will not fight back.

Celebrate Diversity! Pride Challenge 2007

This was first posted by Kelly Stern at He lives in Richmond, Virginia, which is about 90 miles from Norfolk. I suspect that he lives in Carytown, located to the west of Virginia Commonwealth University. I hope as many readers as possible will like wise post this message and photo and let Kelly know that the torch has been passed.

We have come along way,
but still have a long way to go.
Thanks to all those who have paved the way,
Some even gave their lives...
Keep their fight alive...
We won't forget!!

It is that time of the year again where I post a photo that shows the rainbow and ask everyone to pass it around in hopes of spreading the idea of diversity. It may not be as pretty as last years, but it is more of the point I am trying to make. This is a rainbow created by different forces in nature (a little sunshine, water and wind). Last year there were over 100 of you who participated in my challenge and this year I want more. As I find the picture on sites, I will link to that site here in this post. I will try and keep this post at the top of the page all month long with links to the other sites. This challenge is not just about being accepted as a gay man, but it is about societies around the world learning to accept people for being themselves... diversity. Gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, skinny or fat... we need to be a little more accepting these days. The world is a mean place, let's work to make it a little nicer by showing this colorful rainbow that formed thanks to the right angle of the sun and a slight breeze across the pond. Mother natures way of saying she approves of this challenge... shouldn't we all.

About the photo: It was taken by me, Kelly Stern, on May 25th, 2007 on my way to work. This pond/lake is located in Byrd Park in the city of Richmond, Virginia. Many locals refer to this as "Fountain Lake" for obvious reasons. It is also adjacent to the neighborhood that I live in, and refered to last year as the "All American Gayborhood" (see side bar of this blog). Please feel free to use this photo on your blog or website or MySpace page and encourage others to do the same. If you see my pic somewhere, let me know, so I can link the site to this post.

Homoeroticsm at Annapolis

This photo of U.S. Naval Academy plebes climbing the Herndon Monument at Annapolis, Maryland looks pretty hot to me. These guys don't look too afraid of some man-on-man grappling to me!!

Stop Bush's Surgeon General Nominee

Pam's House Blend (;jsessionid=F4E426EBD084BC5CDE683A0B970F7AAC?diaryId=1857) has useful information on how to voice your opposition to Chimperator Bush's pro-reparative therapy nominee for Surgeon General:

This appointment needs approval from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which is composed of the following members:

DemocratsChairman Edward Kennedy (MA)
Christopher Dodd (CT)
Tom Harkin (IA)
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)Patty Murray (WA)
Jack Reed (RI)
Hillary Rodham Clinton(NY)
Barack Obama (IL)Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)
Sherrod Brown (OH)

Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Judd Gregg (NH)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
Pat Roberts (KS)Wayne Allard (CO)
Tom Coburn (OK)

You can get their staffers on the phone by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202 224 3121. You can submit email comments to the HELP Committee at

The primary role of the Surgeon General is health education. A nominee who appears to reject the conclusions of the leading professional and scientific bodies--in order to embrace and promote dogmas derived from his personal religious beliefs--is a bad fit for the job, and should be rejected.

For the Democrats in the running for President, a "No" vote should be a litmus test for LGBT voters. Anyone who votes to confirm this bozo is no friend of the LGBT community.

Saturday Male Beauty

Friday, June 01, 2007

Final Friday Male Beauty

Bush Surgeon General Nominee Runs Program to "Cure" Gays

The Daily Kos is reporting that last week with little fanfare, Chimperator George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate James W. Holsinger, Jr., to serve as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. While Holsinger previously ran the State of Kentucky's health care system and the University of Kentucky's medical center, there's more to the story: Holsinger is a Christianist who believes homosexuality can be "cured."

Bush said that as America's chief health educator, Holsinger "will be charged with providing the best scientific information available on how Americans can make smart choices that improve their health." Too bad he apparently doesn't trust the conclusions of the APA, AMA and a host of other medical and mental health experts when it comes to reparative therapy. Things do not bode well for America's health care with this guy in charge.

The Lexington Herald-Leader ( published this story on this nomination:

The nomination of University of Kentucky professor Dr. James W. Holsinger as U.S. surgeon general has come under fire from groups that fear his actions as a high-ranking official in the United Methodist Church indicate he is anti-gay.

Holsinger, 68, who holds UK's Charles T. Wethington Jr. Chair in the Health Sciences and is a former chancellor of UK's Chandler Medical Center and a former state Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is being challenged for his role in decisions by the United Methodist Judicial Council. That highest "court" rules on disputes involving church doctrine and policies in the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination.

In his role on the nine-member Judicial Council, Holsinger has opposed a decision to allow a practicing lesbian to be an associate pastor, and he supported a pastor who would not permit an openly gay man to join the church. In both instances, Holsinger's supporters say, he was correctly interpreting and applying church policy. (The church's bishops voted later to allow the gay man to become a member.)

Worse yet:

Holsinger and his wife, Barbara, were members of Lexington's First United Methodist Church, which asked them to set out and start a new congregation.

They founded Hope Springs Community Church in a warehouse at 1109 Versailles Road. Calhoun called it a socially diverse congregation with a "very vital recovery ministry." It serves the homeless and those with addictions to drugs, alcohol and sex; and it has a Spanish-language Hispanic congregation with its own pastor.

"It's built around compassion for people who struggle with a lot of issues," he said. Hope Springs also ministers to people who no longer wish to be gay or lesbian, Calhoun said. "We see that as an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle," he said. "We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle."

Why didn't Bush simply nominate a witch doctor? If there was any remaining doubt that Bush is an idiot tool of the Christianists, this nomination ought to remove it completely. How much longer will it be safe for gays to live in the USA?

More Friday Male Beauty

Educators Criticize Creation Museum as Documented Lie

The new $27 million museum that tells a biblical version of the Earth’s creation is rightfully drawing fire from science educators, who say the exhibits are scientifically inaccurate. The educators say its exhibits, inspired by the Old Testament, are geared toward children but lack scientific evidence. What is amazing to me is that in this age of greatly expanded scientific and technological knowledge, the Christianists are increasingly anti-knowledge and anti-science. I believe that if some of them had their way, we'd go back to a pre-Renaissance level of knowledge so that there will be nothing to challenge their ignorant, fear inspired literal interpretation of the Bible. These folks act little different that the Islamic Taliban in the way they endeavor to stamp out modern knowledge.

A leading critic of the museum is Lawrence Krauss, an author and physics professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland:

"When they try to confuse (kids) about what is science and what isn't science, scientists have an obligation to speak out," said Krauss. "There's no doubt these are documented lies."Krauss has signed one of two petitions circulated by national groups this week that challenge the facility's exhibits. Krauss said about 2,000 educators, mostly university-level, have signed the petition. A second petition from the National Center for Science Education sent to educators in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio had attracted support from nearly 600 university professors. It says there are scientifically inaccurate exhibits at the museum.

See the full article on the museum and the controversy here:

My Readers - Part 6

I would like to introduce Wayne, another of my readers, who has a blog at Wayne has been have been blogging for about three years now and is a retired college professor (at Hunter College in NYC). He describes himself as a battle-scarred veteran of the gay movement of the seventies---pre-AIDS. After retiring as an activist he turned to scholarship. The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality that he edited is now available at He reports that he has jousted frequently with his friend Andrew Sullivan, whose energy he describes as extraordinary! He says he is flattered by my comparison of his writing to that of Andrew Sullivan. Please check out Wayne's blog.

Anti-Gay Censorship is Alive and Well in Norfolk

Musical Banned by Granby High School Due to Sensitive Material.
Norfolk's Granby High School has banned the presentation of a new musical, Pet Sounds, because it has a gay theme. Fortunately, the 40th Street Stage, a private forum, will host the presentation, which is described as follows:
The new musical, Pet Sounds, or The Life and Times of Nigel Zingraff and Petula Clark, directed by Bruce K. Hanson, is a charming coming of age story about a gay sixteen-year-old Nigel Zingraff, who, after being outed, can't decide to stay out or go back into the closet. Along with his two best friends, Kamea and Theo, Nigel is a student at the New York School of Performing Arts.

Pet Sounds portrays real-life high school students experiencing real-life situations. The show uses the elements of musical comedy to present a less than perfect view of the lives of student in America. Based on the songs made famous by Petula Clark, Pet Sounds has a score mostly written by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, which includes: "Downtown", "Don't Sleep in the Subway", "Who Am I?" and "My Love."

Friday Male Beauty

Amazingly, this guy looks a lot like one of my nephews.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

David Hyde Pierce Comes Out

Like, are any of us surprised?? If Niles on "Fraizer" wasn't the stereotypical gay man, I don't know who would be. I am glad, however, that another well known gay has publicly come out of the closet.
The more of us that come out, the more the stereotypes will die and the more individuals will summon the courage to come out of the closet. My hope is that some day one's sexual orientation will not cause any more notice than one's hair or eye color. Ignorance and bigotry, be it based on alleged religious belief or fear of those who are different, have cost the world so many damaged or ruined lives.

Final Thursday Male Beauty

More on Bush's Support of Torture

As I am sure readers have figured out by now, I am no fan of the Bush Administration or the far right fundamentalist controlled GOP even though I was once upon a time a Republican. Besides the lies that were used to launch the war in Iraq, my biggest complaints are (A) the way this President and administration have destroyed the USA's reputation around the world and (B) the way it has destroyed the rule of law that is critical to a democratic and moral society. Andrew Sullivan has a great post that exposes the manner in which this administration advocates the use of torture and tries to use carefully crafted language to avoid the admitting what is actually being advocated.
As Andrew Sullivan points out:

The phrase "Verschärfte Vernehmung" is German for "enhanced interrogation". Other translations include "intensified interrogation" or "sharpened interrogation". It's a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court.

The methods, as you can see above in the attached translation, are indistinguishable from those described as "enhanced interrogation techniques" by President George Bush. Andrew continues stating that :

As you can see from the Gestapo memo, moreover, the Nazis were adamant that their "enhanced interrogation techniques" would be carefully restricted and controlled, monitored by an elite professional staff, of the kind recommended by Charles Krauthammer, and strictly reserved for certain categories of prisoner. At least, that was the original plan.

I guess I should not be surprised by any of this inasmuch as the "Christian" Right has used Nazi propaganda techniques in its crusade against gays and gay rights as well (see: George W. Bush and his Christian Taliban allies have turned the USA into a beacon of shame, not a beacon of liberty.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Ex-Gay for Pay Stephen Bennett Trashes White House

As I predicted in my May 29th post, the fundies are going absolutely crazy over the White House acknowledgment of Mary Cheney and Heather Poe as the parents of Vice President Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney’s new grandson. The Life Site News web site has a lengthy discussion of the commentary of professional ex-gay Stephen Bennett (See: I hope they make Chimperator Bush's life Hell in a way only they can do. Here’s part of the story on Bennett’s diatribe:

Stephen Bennett, a pro-family advocate who left the homosexual lifestyle and now has a ministry to convince others of its dangers, expressed his concern about the White House’s decision to caption the photo this way. “What is extremely troubling is the official White House caption that appears underneath the photo on the official White House website,” said Bennett. Rather than merely stating that the child is the “child of their daughter Mary Cheney," the White House photo caption states, “... His parents are the Cheney's daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe.”

“Since when have two homosexual women been able to naturally procreate?,” commented Bennett. “Fact is Mary Cheney, the Vice President's daughter - in one way or another - received a male's sperm. She is the biological mother, parent number one, and some man, somewhere out there, is Samuel David's real biological father, parent number two.”

Of course, Mr. Bennett is anything but an objective commentator. He has made a career out of being an alleged “former homosexual” and operates Stephen Bennett Ministries which promises that: “SBM’S FIRM UNWAVERING STAND: NO ONE IS BORN “GAY” AND COMPLETE CHANGE IS COMPLETELY POSSIBLE. THERE IS REAL HOPE – DON’T SETTLE FOR OR BELIEVE ANYTHING LESS.” If you don’t believe me, check out his “ministry’s” web site: It looks to be quite a business operation and seeks "donations" to support the "ministry." A few years back, Mr. Bennett initially threatened to sue me when I contacted him and challenged his use of bogus scientific research put out by Paul Cameron (Cameron’s organization has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center). When I responded that I would welcome a a lawsuit and an opportunity to prove in court that the SBM claims were untrue, Bennett suddenly became conciliatory and claimed that he had no idea that the false information was on his website. Here’s his e-mail to me:

From :
Stephen Bennett
Sent :
Wednesday, October 8, 2003 4:51 PM
To :
"Michael Hamar"
Subject :
Re: Your Implied Legal Threats

Michael: I am aware of Cameron. News items are sent to us for publication on our news page and I personally was unaware this linked to Cameron. As a Christian, I am interested in promoting the truth - and you will never convince me otherwise - that homosexuals can change. Also, I come from an evangelistic standpoint, to share the gospel of Christ with all – homosexual or heterosexual. I speak the biblical truth on homosexuality - because God does. If the Bible never mentioned it, believe me, I wouldn't either. We base our ministry and beliefs on the Bible - and that will also never change. I sincerely appreciate you bringing this link to my attention and yes – that article/link will be removed.

Stephen Bennett
Unfortunately, Bennett still associates himself with organizations that continue to cite Cameron's bogus research based on some of the recommended links on his web site.

Thursday Male Beauty

I loved Josh Hartnett in Pearl Harbor - I saw the movie while in the closet and secretly admired his looks along with the women in our group of couples.

Christians and Muslims Don't Have a Monopoly on Insanity has reported that an ultra-Orthodox sect that staged a week of riots last year against gay pride celebrations in Jerusalem is warning that if a parade is permitted this year it will again take to the streets. Here are excerpts from the story:

Last week District Chief Cmdr. Ilan Franco gave tentative approval for a gay parade in the city on June 21 adding that the final OK must come the district commander based on "the intelligence information and/or evidence he may have at hand, on any restrictions he sees fit to apply to the event, it's location, and arrangements."

Rabbi Oded Shmueli of the haredi sect warned the government not to approve the march, calling homosexuality "evil". Shmueli also said that the haredi had formed an alliance with the extreme-right Jewish National Front to oppose the parade. Shmueli said that among the proposals being considered were blocking the streets to haredi neighborhoods and physically striking out at gay businesses and venues that are open on the Sabbath.

For the life of me, I do not understand why these "god fearing" religious types find two guys (or two women) kissing so terrifying.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

Exodus International's Randy Thomas' Fear of Real Diologue

In a post on his blog, Randy Thomas (pictured at left), the Vice President of Exodus International - the mother ship for the "ex-gay" cure "ministries" - complained about the so-called bias of a newspaper reporter who interviewed him recently for a story in a Florida newspaper. See: However, Mr. Thomas does not practice what he would appear to preach. Comments on his blog are regularly blocked, deleted or edited to avoid any inconvenient views or facts. Here's what I posted on his blog last night:

Randy, I can understand your WANTING your sexual orientation to have changed. However, I know full well the power of denial, especially when it comes to not wanting to be gay. You see, I was in the closet for 37 years, got married, had children and tried all kinds of self-delusion to avoid admitting the truth. I feel sorry that you cannot accept that maybe, just maybe GOD made you gay. On my blog I am recounting my story so that others do not make the same mistakes, particularly the (in retrospect) selfish mistake of getting married in order to be “straight,” “normal, or whatever you may label it.

I pity the straight spouses in relationships with those you have helped to delude themselves into thinking they have changed their sexual orientation. Also, I am curious whether or not you draw a salary from Exodus. I am very familiar with those who are “ex-gay” for pay. Ask Michael Johnston, for example:

Lo and behold, by this morning the entire second paragraph of my comment had been deleted. I guess the Michael Johnston fraud - who was a professional ex-gay for pay until his "moral fall" - hit a little too close to home fro Mr. Thomas, who I suspect draws a salary from Exodus. God forbid his readers discover the cure doesn't really work.

Another Medical Association Opposes "Reparative Therapy"

Ex-Gay Watch is reporting ( that the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) has joined a large number of prestigious professional associations in opposing the quackery known as reparative therapy marketed by the Christianist far right. On the matter of conversion therapies, the AAPA voted the following:

The American Academy of Physician Assistants opposes any psychiatric treatment directed specifically at changing sexual orientation, such as “conversion” or “reparative” therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual orientation.

With this decision, the AAPA joins a large number of prestigious professional organizations in the view that homosexuality is not a disorder to be cured, and that therapy claiming to do so not something to be endorsed. It's a shame that groups like Exodus International and its affiliates have no regard for legitimate medical and mental health expert opinion, particularly since the cure programs do not work - just generate a lot of money for the fundies. Just look at Focus on the Family's ex-professional ex-gay, John Paulk (pictured on the cover of Newsweek at left), who was photographed by Wayne Besen cruising in a gay bar.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Bush/Cheney Embrace Nazi Terminology and Use Mercenaries

Andrew Sullivan has this post today on his blog ( Like Andrew, I am appalled at what this administration has done to utterly destroy the USA's reputation around the world, not to mention the erosion of civil liberties in this country:

Here's a link to the blogs that have discussed the fact that the Bush administration's term "enhanced interrogation" was coined in 1937 to describe exactly the same techniques authorized by Bush, Cheney, Tenet, and Rumsfeld. The term was coined by the Gestapo. The original post, with historical documentation, is here. Please read it. Please send it to others. We have to wake people up to what is being done in their name. There is a better way to get intelligence, and before the goons and thugs of the Bush administration, the U.S. used to practise it. We still can return to honor and excellence in interrogation - instead of shame and failure.

Meanwhile, AmericaBlog has this story (

21,000 British mercenaries working in Iraq: That is three times the number of UK troops currently in Iraq. Just as the US has lowered the bar for recruiting, low standards are often used when recruiting mercenaries though the so-called security companies are making enormous amounts of money on this outsourcing project and the "security staff" are pulling in $1000 per day, tax free. Running a war with guns-for-hire is a strange way for democracies to win hearts and minds.

Many in the private sector have, however, expressed alarm about the types of recruits attracted by the money. Robin Horsfall, a former SAS trooper and security guard said "former soldiers are working alongside people who have been involved in nightclub security and have very limited experience. It's because a lot of contracts only demand that you can prove you have got six week's security experience".
It's interesting that while the fundies are worried about gays destroying America, their anointed Chimperator Bush is employing policies very much like those of ancient Rome as it headed for its downfall, particularly the use of mercenaries.

Gay Species: A Kind of Psychosis?

Gay Species: A Kind of Psychosis?

Here's an interesting analysis of gays and religion by Gay Species who frequently comments on my posts. It certainly make a great case as to why taking the Bible literally is foolishness. I also like his take on St. Paul, who in my view, did extreme damage to the Gospels of Christ due to his inability to let go of the Jewish holiness code and its legalism which totally contradicted Jesus' rejection of legalism in favor of the spirit of the two great commandments.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Meet My Readers - Part 5

One of my readers is not a fellow blogger, but he is a very special reader. His name is Raymond, who I usually refer to as “the b/f” in my posts. The photo above is a shot taken over on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It’s only a 45 minute drive from Norfolk, yet is a different world – it is rather undeveloped and with a much slower pace. Fortunately, the $14.00 toll on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (which is 17.5 miles long with two segments of tunnel under the ship channels for Norfolk and Baltimore) will help keep it that way. Surprisingly, towns like Cape Charles have a number of gay residents and business owners and we make the drive over from time to time.

I think Raymond been surprised by this blog and the way I pretty much do not hold back on my thoughts and feelings in my posts. I also believe he does not fully understand my motivation to help others to avoid the mistakes I made over the years. I guess my reply to him has several components. First, while more and more people read this blog, I can still have a feeling of anonymity of sorts since I do not communicate with anyone face to face. Plus, I get to make my statements without interruption or side questions. The other aspect is that as an attorney with an office practice, as opposed to doing trial work, I am far better expressing myself in writing. I dislike public speaking, although I do it from time to time. As a result, it is far easier for me to discuss my thoughts and feelings in writing. As a bonus, I also get to vent my disgust on occasion for the religious fundamentalists of all stripes who have turned religion into such a toxic poison for mankind.

Second, I believe that Raymond does not fully understand my thought process because he was never in the closet himself. In that regard, growing up he was far stronger than I was, not that he did not receive many hard knocks along the way as a consequence. I don’t think he understands yet the mind set that gets one into the closet and then traps them there, often for many years as in my case. It’s an alien concept to him. In my case, it started out innocently enough based on fear and a desire to avoid rejection by family and church and in time it was the only approach I knew. I did not know how to get out of the prison I had built.

I met Raymond on July 3, 2004, from the beginning it was obvious he has a heart of gold. He is generous and always tries to help others. In a future post, I will recount our journey to the Gulf Coast after Katrina in a quest to help and bring back evacuees. It was part comedy and part drama. Raymond has been with me through all the dramas of my final transition from the closet and the now prolonged divorce wars. He has been wonderful to my children and very generous to them. Sadly, at the moment my estranged wife has pretty much poisoned all three of them (my youngest to the least extent so far) against me as well as Raymond in her never ending quest to make me the villain and hurt me financially and emotionally whenever and however possible.

Since I met him nearly two years AFTER I moved out of our marital home, He’s hardly the home wrecker. Thus, at this point, I don’t know if she’s just being vindictive or is truly delusional in a quest for money and assets that simply do not exist. I guess Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned, especially scorned in favor of men. In any event, Raymond has been through it all with me and, at times, I forget to thank him for his love and loyalty through truly difficult times. In any event, I want to thank him now. Thank you, Raymond. I hope you don't have a cow over this post!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tolerance for Gay Rights at High-Water Mark

Here's the results of an interesting Gallup Poll ( I am sure the fundies are NONE too happy with this. It seems to indicate that the late Jerry Falwell, Daddy Dobson and the other leaders of the "Christian Taliban" in the USA are not winning the so-called culture war after all. I like this finding:

A similar pattern is seen with attitudes about whether homosexuality should be sanctioned as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Only 34% in 1982 believed it should be considered acceptable. This expanded to 54% in May 2003, only to drop to 46% two months later. Today's 57% is the highest on record for this measure.

Final Tuesday Male Beauty

The Danger of Strongly Held Religious Views

While I generally have little use for the institutional Roman Catholic Church, Pam's House Blend had a link to a very good article in the National Catholic Reporter that illustrates my prior point about the danger of deference to strongly held religious views, without judgment as to their truthfulness or deeper morality - or lack thereof. (See:

Unfortunately, the article focuses largely on Islamic fundamentalism and brutality, but sadly the Roman Catholic Church and many fundamentalist Christian denominations are better only by a matter of degrees. For example, take the following quote from the article and substitute fundamentalist Christianity - as the far right of the GOP seek to do in the USA. Do we not end up with a result equally perverted?

In the new constitution, she says: "Islamic Sharia was considered the base source of legislation. This automatically aborted decades of feminist struggles in Iraq. It was an enormous setback in women's status and made Iraq into a country ruled mostly by religion. With the current government, the resulting family law will be one that legalizes polygamy, disciplining of women, stoning of adulteresses and sexual apartheid. The first results were clear in the recent days, when the current Al Jaafari's government passed a resolution of segregating sexes in the universities and colleges.

The temptation, of course, is to say something like, "You know how those people are" or "What kind of a religion is that?" But not so fast: Not too many years ago, in our own country, when high school girls became pregnant, they were not permitted to graduate from our high schools. The boys who impregnated them, on the other hand, walked proudly across the stages to pick up their diplomas. We never said a word. That had something to do with honor, too. His, of course, not hers.
I'm sorry, but hate and bigotry is hate and bigotry, no matter what delusional (or religious belief) is used to justify it.

Even If It's Wrong: Barack Obama, Religious Faith, and Same-Sex Marriage

Check out this post on Greta Christina's Blog. In many ways I like many of Obama's ideas, especially his new call for universal health care. However, there's something about him that makes me not totally trust that he won't sell out gay American's based on one set of religious beliefs, thus making him not much different than the late Jerry Falwell. As Greta Christina notes, some of the worse abuses and genocides throughout history have been based on strongly held religious beliefs, many of which ultimately turned out to be wrong or simply based on bigotry.

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Fundamentalist Insanity

Today’s Virginian Pilot has a story on the type of science being taught at the late Jerry Falwell’s Christianist Liberty University (in my opinion, one of Virginia's significant embarassments), which I find down right frightening. ( Here’s a portion of the story:

Marcus Ross, 30, is an assistant professor of geology at Liberty University, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died May 15. He also is a young-Earth creationist who tells students he believes the planet is 6,000 years old. He earned a doctoral degree in geosciences from the University of Rhode Island last year after completing a dissertation on mosasaurs, a marine reptile that, as he wrote, vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era 65 million years ago.

Search for his name on the Internet and you'll find a vigorous debate: Should universities deny degrees to people based on their religious beliefs? Is it intellectually honest to submit a dissertation based on facts the author believes to be wrong? Is Ross seeking to cash in on his science by discrediting it?

"We believe Dr. Ross is doing a tremendous disservice to his students and the public," Nick Matzke, a spokesman for the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group in Oakland, Calif., that promotes the teaching of evolution, said in a telephone interview. Michael Dini, a professor of biology education at Texas Tech University, said Ross should not have been awarded a doctorate. "Anyone who uses religious scripture or theological doctrine as a litmus test to gauge the validity of a scientific theory is no scientist," he wrote in an e-mail. "Is this discrimination? Yes! It's discrimination against bad science."

Some of George Bush's Victims

Eight more American soldiers died yesterday, sacrificed on the altar of Chimperator Bush's hubris. As a parent, it sickens me that families have lost beloved children all because of the lies of Bush/Cheney. Needless to say, the above photo doesn't even begin to focus on the countless innocent Irqgis killed in Bush's war.

Will the Fundies Go Crazy?

Note the following caption that appears on the White House web site with the above photo:
Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, welcomed their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. He weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz and was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. His parents are the Cheneys’ daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe. White House photo by David Bohrer

Tuesday Male Beauty

Monday, May 28, 2007

Final Monday Male Beauty

Darth Vader Cheney

I thought I'd post this in honor of all the NRA members out there.

Alabama Listed Gays Among Terrorist Groups is reporting that the State of Alabama Department of Homeland Security was listing gay organizations as potential terrorist organizations. I lived in Alabama for four years in the late 1970's and early 1980's. I am shocked at how far Alabama has drifted to the lunatic far right mindset. It is NOT the state I once knew:

(Montgomery, Alabama) The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-war organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.

The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists. The list also included environmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents.

More Monday Male Beauty

Beginning Life Out of the Closet

In August, 2002, I moved out of the family home in Virginia Beach and began my quest to build a life as a gay man. I was still in the closet at work and trying my best to be stay under the radar so as to keep gossip from getting back to my children. While Norfolk and Virginia Beach abut each other, the world of the Great Neck section of Virginia Beach and the Ghent area of Norfolk are very, very different even though separated by less than 20 miles. Great Neck is very much suburbia with large lots, big house, immaculate lawns, and conservative politics. It’s a veritable bastion of the GOP. In contrast, Ghent is much more artsy, has a sizable gay and Jewish population and the liberalizing effects of Old Dominion University.

My apartment was in an old building, dating from the early 1920’s, with hardwood floors, a 1950’s bathroom, two bedrooms, and a small kitchen. It was quite a change from the 5 bedroom, 3 and ½ bath suburban house in Virginia Beach. However, it was a place that I could at last be myself and it was just a block from bust Colley Avenue with its many restaurants, coffee shops, etc. In time, I would have three roommates over a course of time (to cut expenses), none really working out, however, due to personality conflicts, some not were not paying rent regularly, etc. I soon discovered that meeting other gays was not going to be easy. Yes, provided a way to chat with guys, but most were looking only for quick sex, whereas I wanted someone nice to get to know and, hopefully form a relationship with. The other venue to meet other gays was the club scene, which again was not conducive to finding b/f material.

During this period, things with my long distance b/f in Chicago came to an end due to a number of factors: the distance, his reluctance to be “the other man” in terms of the end of my marriage, and lastly his fear of commitment which only worsen when his identical twin brother committed suicide (I believe because he could not accept his sexual orientation). The final end of the relationship with my Chicago b/f came in September 2003, when we last saw each other in Chicago. It broke my heart and I was devastated. Not talking to him every day and seeing him occasionally was terrible. I tried to meet other guys in Norfolk but none were him. Some say I took it so hard because he was my first real reciprocated gay love. Perhaps it is true. While I had many infatuations over the years up until then, all – with the possible exception of ML in Mobile – were completely one sided loves. As a result, I began going to the clubs a lot, especially The Wave which was closest to where I lived and had great dance music. If nothing else, I loved to dance and it was better to be out than home alone. I pretty much became a regular on Friday and Saturday nights and occasionally on Wednesday nights too.

During the summer of 2003, I got my first chance to be an activist of sorts. A friend of one of my short term roommates needed to talk to a lawyer, so my roommate had he call me. It turned out that he (I will call him K) had had a brief fling with a guy he knew as Shaun, that he had met on However, he had much to his shock learned that Shaun’s real name was Michael Johnston – k had innocently seen his driver’s license displaying the name Michael Johnston. Needless to say, K was concerned as to what might be going on and had done a little investigating. To his shock, he discovered that Michael Johnston was a prominent “ex-gay” and protégé to Jerry Falwell and others in the Christian Right. K provided me with some of the information he had pulled together and, indeed, it appeared that “Shaun” was actually Michael Johnson, one of the top poster boys for the ex-gay propaganda campaign of the Christian Right.

Both K and I felt he needed to be exposed as a fraud. However, K was afraid he’d lose his job if his sexual orientation became known. Being uncertain how to get the story out, I e-mailed Wayne Besen, whose book “Anything But Straight” I had seen written up. Wayne was excited to meet K, but first we had to negotiate a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement to protect K’s identity. Once that documentation was agreed upon, Wayne came to Norfolk and met with K and also spoke with another one of Michael Johnston’s sex partners one night at The Wave. The upshot of the whole episode was the publishing of a a top story in the Southern Voice and its sister papers exposing Michael Johnston as a fraud: Johnston could have been prosecuted in Virginia for a felony based on his conduct, but that would have required K to go public with his own name. That he was too afraid to do.

For my part, as a result of the Michael Johnston story, I was invited to speak at a workshop at the 2003 Creating Change Conference sponsored by the NGLTF in Miami in November, 2003. It would be the first time I went anywhere as an identified gay man to speak on gay rights and equality issues. The energy at the conference was amazing and it was such an affirming experience to be surrounded by hundreds of bright, talented gay activists. It was also an eye opener to see an area where gays were so open with who they were and not the “under the radar” types so prevalent in the Norfolk area. (My photo at left above is of me wearing a shirt from the 2003 Creating Change Conference). While Traveling to Miami, I also stopped in Ft. Lauderdale amd had lunch with a fashion designer I met online. A photo of him is set out above as well. I still have the bikini he gave me, although I won't be wearing it until I get back into better shape.

Once back on the home front, I was continuing my search for “Mr. Right,” without much success. I had come out of the closet with a vision of finding a long term relationship with a great guy. Now, I truly began to think I would never find him.

More Monday Male Beauty

Monday Male Beauty

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Jesus Machine

I consider James Dobson one of the greatest threats to the rights and safety of LGBT Americans. While writers reference Dobson’s "avuncular manner,” he is in fact a cunning and ruthless opponent to gay rights and freedom of religion as contemplated by the USA's founding fathers. It is precisely because of his scripted efforts to appear "avunclar," that most journalist are duped into thinking he's harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth. A book review on a recent book on Dobson can be found in the May 27, 2007, edition of the New Yourk Times: ( Here's a description of Dobson's empire:

This empire is based at an 88-acre campus in Colorado Springs, with some 1,300 employees and a 75,000-square-foot warehouse filled with DVDs, CDs, pamphlets and books that disseminate Dobson’s advice on matters like how to stop bed-wetting or confront a teenager about drug use, not to mention admonitions against gay rights and judicial activism.

Dobson's Focus on the Family sponsors a bogus ex-gay cure program "Love Won Out" I described in a previous post. In addition, Focus on the Family has affiliates in many states in the USA, including the evil "Family Foundation" here in Virginia. I recommend that readers read the New York Times column. It is important to know one's enemies. Believe me, if your are LGBT, Dobson is the enemy.

A Distortion of History

Spokesmen of the Christian Right, including Robert Knight who I referenced in a prior post, like to parrot as one of their anti-gay talking points that “every society that has embraced homosexuality has fallen.” Without specifically naming Classical Greece and Rome, obviously these societies are among the societies the Christianists have in mind. Of course the reality, when one actually knows history, is far different. Classical Greece fell to the superior military power of Alexander the Great of Macedon, who adopted Greek culture and whose empire went on to be the basis for Hellenistic culture that survived for centuries. In the case of Rome, the fall had nothing to do with homosexuality. Here’s a brief overview of why Rome really fell:

Fall of Western Roman Empire: Too disorganized to stop invasions; City of Rome's population dropped from 1 million to 20,000; 455 AD - Gaiseric led Vandals, sacked Rome; Germans fought each other for territory; Visigoths controlled Spain; Vandals controlled North Africa; Ostrogoths controlled Italy; Saxons controlled Britannia; Romulus Augustus - last emperor; 14 years old; deposed in 476 by German General Odoacer, signaling the fall of Western Empire

Byzantine (Eastern) Empire - flourished while Western Empire Fell: The
Eastern empire ruled from Constantinople; saw selves as heirs to Augustus' power; preserved Greek/Roman culture until 1453 fall to the Ottoman Empire
Causes of fall of the Western Empire:
**Political - no longer an honor to be emperor, military interferences in politics, civil war and unrest, division of empire, capital moved to Byzantine
**Social - lack of political interest, low confidence in empire, lack of patriotism, contrast between rich/poor
**Economic - poor harvests, trade disruption, no war plunder, less gold/silver, inflation, tax burden, widening gap between rich/poor
**Military - threat from N European tries, low defense funds, non-romans being recruited into the army, lack of patriotism; pressure from Huns, German/Hun invasion, sack of Rome, conquest by the invaders.
Thus, the Greek and Roman culture prevailed from Classical Greece, beginning in about 500 B.C. to the fall of Byzantium in 1453 A. D. Meanwhile, the USA has existed for a mere 231 years. Just another example of how lack of education and a knowledge of history are the Christianists' best allies.

Meet My Readers - Part 4

Another reader has contacted me that I'd like to introduce. His online name is "Soul Seared Dreamer" and his blog is "Waiting for Life, which is on my link list. Please check out his blog.
Here's how he describes himself.
Age: 24 ; Gender: Male; Astrological Sign: Leo
Zodiac Year: Dog; Industry: Accounting; Occupation: Student
Location: NW London : UK ; About Me:
A twenty-something Student Accountant who is still waiting for life to begin. I've suffered a sheltered life and now I feel I've just woken up from a life long hibernation. And guess what? It's time to party... It's just I don't know how! Sucks huh?

Tell Me About Yourself

Three of my readers have been introduced on this Blog. For those of you who do not want to be featured, I would still be interested in hearing from you either via comment or e-mail. So far, people from 53 countries have viewed this blog and I'd love for some of you to tell me about yourselves. The blogosphere has made the world so much smaller. My e-mail address is:

More Sunday Male Beauty

Therapy and Relationship – A Key to Survival

Once I had told my wife my horrible secret, I began to see a therapist. My therapist was a PhD Psychologist and also an ordained Presbyterian minister. The first item to be worked through was the religious based self-hate that had been instilled in me so successfully by the Roman Catholic Church. If nothing else, the Church is moist expert in instilling guilt and self-hate into countless millions, particularly LGBT Catholics. This therapist helped me to see that there were other interpretations of the Bible and provided many references to books I should read. Seeing him weekly for well over a year, I finally reached a point of some peace with my sexuality from a religious belief perspective. I truly believe anyone from a strong, conservative religious background needs to find an understanding therapist to help them recover from the religious poison they have been given growing up.

Eventually, I hit a plateau with this therapist. He helped me get over much of my religious based self-hate and angst, but we were not making progress on the issues of me moving on as a gay man and dealing with the sense of guilt and failure that haunted me from my failed marriage. Fortunately, I found a therapist who specialized in men in mid-life going through transition due to divorce, loss of a spouse, coming out of the closet, death of child, etc. He was exactly what I needed. It’s taken a long time, but I have put all of the guilt and sense of failure baggage behind me and accept that God made me gay for some unknowable reason. Along the way, there were a couple of overdose attempts and many very dark days. But now, I have reached a peace with who I am and my sexual orientation. My therapist had to hear a lot of crap and whining at times, but now I do not feel the need to apologize to anyone.

One thing many gays say is that they don’t like their therapist or that it’s not working. To that my advice is to keep looking for the right therapist. At some point you will find the right one and your journey from the closet can be made far easier and less of an emotional nightmare.

The other thing that I see as critical in making the transition out of the closet is to have gay friends that you can talk with, either in person or online. Just knowing that there are others out there who have been through the coming out process and made it through mentally in one piece means a great deal. Better yet, find a relationship with a special lover. My long distance relationship with the Chicago CPA did not last, but it did help me on my path. For the last three years, my b/f has played a critical role in loving me and helping me to feel comfortable as a gay man and as part of a gay couple. That’s not to say there were not a lot of bumps along the road or that the b/f didn’t have a great deal of crap to live with as I made my transition. The important thing is that he stood by me at the times it counted most.

Sunday Male Beauty

Life in the Shattered Closet

From October, 2001, to August 24, 2002, after confessing I was gay to my wife, I continued to live in our home with my wife and children. Since the house had two complete master bedroom suites, my wife remained in one and I more or less moved into the other. The transition was smooth because I had had a bad case of the flu and had moved to the other room to avoid contaminating anyone else. I simply never moved back out. Obviously, the atmosphere was strained and the children knew something was a foot, but did not know the nature of it. I would be another year after I moved out of the house that we finally told them what was going on, although as it turned out , my son figured things out before we ever told them.

In December, 2001, I again when to my annual seminar that I always attended – which had been rescheduled from September due to 9-11 - in Chicago. Before I left, my wife told me she was giving me “a free pass,” as long as I did not tell her anything about what I did. While in Chicago, I did meet a smart young CPA who worked for an international public relations firm. For me, it was love at first sight and he seemed interested and we continued to e-mail and chat daily after my return to Virginia Beach. It was one of those situations where the chemistry clicked and we soon were emotionally involved even though separated by a great distance. With his encouragement I did something totally out of character and crazy, much to my wife’s horror: I took up an invitation to visit a different guy in the Bahamas who I had met online. I really needed to get away from Virginia Beach and home to sort out in my mind what I was going to do going forward. The chance to go sailing and exploring with an oceanographer who seem larger than life was just not something to pass up. He had a television show on the Discovery Channel ( and this was my chance to experience a dream come true of adventure.

In an event, I visited the Bahamas and had five days of sailing, free diving and all sorts of experiences ranging from dining in small whole in the wall restaurants (my host was sort of a local celebrity) to going to the home of members of the Bacardi family. The photo posted above looks like a beach we went to. By the time I returned home, having had the time away from everyone and just be me for the first time in my life, I knew that there was utterly no question but that I was gay. The big question was that of where my life would go from thereon. Obviously, my wife was not happy with me going to the Bahamas - I will admit it was a bit over the top - but I’d have gone whether I was gay or straight, given the nature of the opportunity. That type of trip just wasn’t something that typically happened in my fairly boring life.

Back at home, my wife and I had a final heart to heart talk. She basically said she expected me to go back in the closet and never, ever come back out, or else I had to move out of the house. I was extremely torn: it was either go back to a secret life of living hell, or hurt her and the kids and move out. Despite my new found admission of my sexual orientation, I still loved her very much (although the divorce wars that would eventually arise did much to end that feeling) and it was a very hard decision to tell her that I just did not think I could promise to do what she required. It wasn’t for lack of love for her. It was just that I simply could not endure the thought of being in the closet for the rest of my life. That burden was just too overwhelming. As a result, on August 24, 2002, I moved out of the Virginia Beach house and into an inexpensive apartment in the Ghent area of Norfolk. Thus began my life as a gay man.