Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eternal Love

Do you believe in eternal love? I do!

On Valentines Day my partner and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. As I am sure you know this wonderful movie is about a man who ages in reverse.

Or is it?

It isn’t about time at all!

It is really about loosing everything and in the process discovering what is really important.

Time isn’t an illusion, it is real. It changes everything. Over time we are always loosing everything; we just don’t want to recognize that. We don’t want to deal with it. We either want to stop time or reverse it or dash forward to something else. But the reality is that we are simply here in the moment.

I know, that the love that my partner share is eternal. Oh yea – we met on a certain day, and someday death will separate us. But I know that we have known each other in previous lives and will be with each other again in lives to come. It is just a fact. But it has nothing to do with time. It has to do with what is important.

So, my commitment is to live in the moment. I will cherish all that has gone before and have great hope for what will be, but I will take each day as it comes and make the most of it.

I am so glad for each moment that I have with the man that I love. I know that because it is really important it will last forever.

Fat Tuesday into Ash Wednesday

My nephew was born on Fat Tuesday. I hope that when he is a young man I am still around to remind him of that. And I hope that I still remember that.

Not having been raised a catholic or ever having lived in the south before I have never been very aware of the significance of these days. For me Mardi Gras was something that happened way down in New Orleans. Seemed like a nice parade but that was about it.

But as a LBG (Late Breaking Gay) these two days have taken on a lot of significance. These are the days of loss and renewed life, of a life of self that gets redeemed. It still seems backwards to me – all that decadence on Tuesday and all that repentance on Wednesday. But yet it is the sense of death and the assurance of rebirth associated with the start of lent that really touches my heart.

When I came out it was with the full knowledge that it would cost me everything. My old life was going to be gone and I had no idea what, if any, kind of life I would have afterwards. But my old life was dead so I had no choice.

The world loves a good come back story: Phoenix rising, Chicago burning and the destruction of New Orleans by Katrina, Rocky. We want the underdog to come back and win. It is the story of the butterfly emerging from the cocoon.

Like so many other LBG (Late Breaking Gay) men, I had married, settled in the burbs and raised the kids. All along I had denied, even buried my own desires. But the day came when the math no longer made any sense. I was giving more than I was giving and if I stayed on that hetro road I would loose myself completely. I had to escape. At first I tried to hide it but I am not that kind of person. I could not lie.

I could be gay, but I could not lie any more.

All he lights went out - life stopped - no breathing - no pulse.


And then something miraculous happened.

I was reborn as a gay man.

And even more miraculous than that was that there was more than just life on the other side.

There was love.

The last line of the pastor’s Ash Wednesday sermon was a redo of the traditional “You are dust and to dust you will return.” She said “You are loved and to love you will return.”

As a LBG (Late Breaking Gay) I get that. Oh yea, I get that!.

Yes – I am a butterfly – now that’s gay!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life Goes On

The family tree continues to sprout more branches.

My newest grand nephew was born last night.

I am a very lucky man. I have two sons, two step sons, one step daughter, four grandsons, two nieces, three grand nieces and now one grand nephew.

Last night as my partner and I stood in a hospital to welcome this newest member of the family the world looked awfully good.

I suppose that before man could walk fully upright there has been that tender moment when the extended family gathered around the newest addition to the family and marveled at the start of a new life. Last night we gathered in a hospital room instead of around a fire in a cave but there is no less wonder or joy.

This little bundle of joy is the essence of hope and the fulfillment of promise. All pink and perfect, the continuation of the blood of our fathers and mothers back across time and out into an unseen future. For the moment he has no limits, no dream is too high, his life is full of powerful potential.

As his life begins, we of his family, his tribe if you will, offer our blessings and call on God to also bless. It is an old ritual with real meaning. As you see him take his first breaths, you cannot help but believe in the God given miracle that he represents.

As we looked around the room and saw represented there the many and divergent strains of life that make up his/our family, four generations of straight, gay, single parent, divorced, widowed, black and white, it was impossible not to believe that this new addition will have a rich and wonderful life.

May all of my family grow strong, live long and love well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If Your Erection Lasts Less Than Four Hours...

ask for your money back!

Just kidding of course. Four hours is a long time. Like running a marathon actually. But oh-la-la what a run!

Sex is many wonderful things. It is pleasure at it purest. It is time away from the rest of the world and its stresses. It is time to be focused on just you and your partner and what makes you both feel really really good. And it gives a release that lasts and lasts. Endorphins or something.

But sex is, or I think should be, a hobby. I have had a few hobbies in my life. There was stamp collecting and coin collecting and once I built a 3 foot model of the Eiffel Tower from toothpicks (that hobby didn't last long). None of that compares to sex.

Unfortunately I don't think many people see sex as a hobby. With a hobby you get all the tools and toys to do it right. You read up on your hobby. You join clubs to meet other people who enjoy your hobby. Heaven forbid civilized Americans would do any of that! When we do it is all a great secret. You don't talk about that hobby at a cocktail party.

Sex really is like running or swimming or some other athletic hobby. Sex done right takes stamina and focus. Yet I see so many people who can't walk up a flight of steps let alone fuck for hours several times a week. Those same people either bitch about their sex lives or have completely written them off. Please! If you only knew you would spend the time at the gym so you could have time in the sack.

Of course there is more to it than being athletic. We watched the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics last night. Some of the men are soooooo hot. Not that the Winter Olympics shows off skin like the Summer Olympics (watching those when I was still in the closet was one of my dirtiest little secrets) but those speed skaters skin suits do raise my pulse a bit. And yet, as hot as any of those men might be in a post gold medal award role in the hay, they would still have to know how to make love.

Of course I would be glad to be their coach in that regard.

Making love, now that is a hobby!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ticky Tacky Boxes

Do you remember the song "Little Boxes" from the early 60's that makes fun of the development of suburbia?

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.

There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,

And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,

And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

My life before I came out was all ticky tacky. I bought into the only life I knew. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't well thought out. Not because I wasn't thinking about it but because I didn't know there were any other choices.

In ancient Greece young men spent several years being mentored by older men. That relationship was gay. When the young men grew to maturity they would marry and have children and then go on to mentor and have gay relationships with the next generation of young men. I am not suggesting that we should have that kind of society. But it points out that there are many other ways to live.

My point is that we should have the space, time and options to learn ourselves and then and only then choose the life that fits our needs. "Know thy self" first - didn't someone say that - oh yea it was the ancient Greeks.

Today is different. There are lots of other choices. I am encouraged that the young men and women of the new generations can make many other choices. I wish them well.

I am lucky that at long last I do know myself and have chosen well.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mixed Signals

The left turn blinker has been on for the last ten miles.

You have been there - they are going just below the posted speed limit on a curvy two land country road. Driving behind them is infuriating. You just wanted them to do something, anything, just get out of your way. But mile after mile they travel, oblivious to the mixed signals that they are sending to everyone around them.

Being a LBG (late breaking gay) is kind of like that.

You go down the road of life giving mixed signals and you don’t even realize it. When you finally make that long delayed left turn it is a relief for many people who were traveling with you.

For me it was my Mother who said “Duh!”

For my partner it was his kids who said "Duh!"

But it wasn't just me giving mixed signals. Before I came out it seemed like I was getting mixed signals. I enjoyed sex with my wife (maybe I was determined to enjoy it). But I also enjoyed checking out good looking men and later chatting on line with men and then finally playing with men.

In my brain, all of the signals were getting mixed up. Man it is a wonder that
I survived.

It took a long time and I was changing - becoming more and more aware of my interest, even passion for men. But during that transition period it was all mixed signals.

I was flashing my left blinker but just kept on moving straight ahead.

For everyone's sake, including mine, I am glad I finally made that long awaited left turn.