Friday, July 24, 2009

Curious Gus

Just took the GUS survey and encourage Utah gay and bisexual men to take it as well, and spread the word:
Note: You don't have to be sexually active to take this survey. ;p

Monday, July 20, 2009


Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them. 

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. 

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Public Displays of Affection

Tonight following a weekend of news about the kissing arrests on the Main Street Plaza near Temple Square and today's Kiss-In protest, I'm feeling the unwelcome presence of my old friend HP (aka Homophobia).

HP and I go way back. I knew him long before I knew his name or what he was about. He showed up in kindergarten when I found out that telling the truth about bullies made me a tattle tale. He later taunted me on the playground of my elementary school, but where I really got to know him was in my junior high gym class. He was the loud mouth in the locker room who threatened "You're gonna die a long slow death if I ever catch you looking at my ass that way again you little fag."

I tried to make peace with him and by the time I got in high school I thought of him as my friend. In exchange for averting my eyes and trying to be more manly in my walk and talk, I thought he was protecting me from the other bullies. HP's not so bad, I thought. If I follow his rules, I'll be safe. More people will like me. I might not be one of the jocks, but at least they'll talk to me. 

In college I tried to lose HP, but by then I'd pretty much accepted that he'd always be hanging around. To be fair, he's probably one of the reasons I dated women, fell in love, got married and had children. I guess I owe him thanks for helping out on that.

During the AIDS crisis of the early eighties, I again thought of him as a friend. Without him I imagined that I could have done things that would have caused a real-life version of that long, slow death he'd threatened back in junior high. He's a jerk, but I guess he helped save my life, I had to admit.

But by now, three decades later, I really thought I'd put the whole HP friendship issue in the lock box of the past. He was someone who used to be in my life. Someone I got over. Someone not worth the effort to even think about. 

But I got a strong dose of reality this weekend. I see the truth is that he's been a very busy and successful power broker. He hangs out with everyone from presidents and religious leaders to security guards. He's got a condo in Sacramento and access to a beautiful home in a gated community in Texas.

Even so, I have a feeling he's not forgotten me. I wonder if he saw me Thursday after lunch when I hugged a friend. I wonder if he saw me with my friends on Friday night when I put my arms around them both for a picture. 

I wonder if he's been taking his own pictures of me. I wonder if I'm going to get a email, or worse yet, he's going to be in the garage again some day, like he was years ago when he whispered, "If you just leave the engine running, the world will be a better place in just a few minutes." I feel like screaming the old Dylan song, "You've got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend." But the truth is I'm still afraid of him. 

Anyone else here know this guy? And have you got any advice for me on how to get rid of him once and for all or is he something I've just got to endure to the end?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th from the Castro!

Actually, I'm back in Utah now, but earlier this week I was in San Francisco and enjoyed dinner with friends and my first-ever walk through the Castro. 

The photo shows the former camera shop of Harvey Milk. Which does tie in with Independence Day in this way: Milk lived in a country which, at the time, allowed him to start a business, but not freely associate with the people of his choice. Police still conducted raids and hauled gays off to jail. Milk did much to change that and paved the way for many changes he did not live to see.

Today, if Milk had not be murdered and had married during a certain narrow window of opportunity, he woud have a valid marriage in California. That's huge progress. Yes, there continue to be obstacles, but as of January 1, 2010 six states will actively perform same-sex marriages. That's something to celebrate along with the vision of our founding fathers that as expressed in 1776:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.."

Such alterations are now in progress and I'm grateful to live in a nation which brings me so many blessings including this possibility.