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Boys Kissing

Love With No Price Tag … Redux

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Courtesy: Neko1303

The Supreme Court in the United States will be hearing arguments over same sex marriage and also D.O.M.A., the Defense of Marriage Act come this spring. Hopefully minds and hearts have changed and that these two issues get solved.

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I was going to prepare a retrospective about the last year of sobriety. And I went as far to prepare some numbers (by the book) and I took a look at some of my old posts there are hundreds of posts that have gone live over the last year.

So instead, I am recycling the title, as two former posts appear with this title from last year, so now we redux…

Looking at the Daily Reflections this month, the topic is Step 12.

” When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it. ”

I know at some point in later year nine, I was in the doldrums. Things were just “there” and I was looking for a little excitement. So I joined a particular group and celebrated my ten years there last December. But soon after things turned sour and people and personalities got rankled and I decided to leave said group.

I dedicated my time to my original home group on Tuesdays. And that is where I have been for the last year. I am hitting three meetings a week. I joined Sunday Niters a few months ago, even though I have been going to this meeting for a long time. And I am in the chair this month, as we have begun the big read through the Big Book.
It has been a good year. In focusing my time on Tuesdays, I have been present to lots of people there. We saw our group more than triple in size in the past year, and it is all down to our women. That has been the highlight of the year so far. I have written about them numerous times over the past months, and we have talked about them amongst the men.

Not having sponsees freed me up to spend an ample amount of time with our members and our women. I have heard it said by folks at a Sunday Meeting, that once you read the book, and you’ve been sober a long time, it becomes an inside job. The work on the frame is finished, so to speak, and now the interior work continues.

I’ve learned a great deal from our group of women who come to our meeting, we all aspire to learn as they do, to live as they do and get sober as they are. It is one thing to share a meeting with the ladies, but quite another when you get invited to share a meal or attend an event with them. And over the past few months we have dined together, gone to movies together and attended hundreds of meetings together.

I have cycled through my steps with my sponsor over the last couple of months. And the past year have been working on me. I got the opportunity to read
” 1000 Years of Sobriety,” which was a book written by folks with 50 or more years of sobriety. Many of then tell stories about Bill W.

I learned lessons about people. I learned lessons about myself. We participated on the Blog with Oprah’s Master Class and also her Life Class Series. They got a lot of traffic. This has been a year of getting to know myself.

I finished my studies last winter and hubby began his work on his M.A. in Sociology, which is coming along, however slowly. And now I am a housewife. I work at home, go to my meetings, and live life as it comes.

It was a year of friendships and building those relationships with love and care.

I have no regrets at this time. I am waiting to see what life is going to bring me now. Tomorrow is Sunday the 9th. We will read from the book and I will take my cake on Tuesday. And that is all for now …

But one more thing about love with no price tag …

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Jack and his Mum … NCOD

National Coming Out Day 2009


Latter Days …

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Click Film Link Here: Latter Days Movie

I was on You Tube the other night and I saw  trailer for this little gay film called “Latter Days.” A movie about a group of young Mormon men who travel from Idaho to Los Angeles for “Mission.” But the apartment complex they moved into carries with it its fair share of complications to their “Mission.”

Aaron, our young Mormon man with Mission stars in his eyes meets a young man named Christian and they form a relationship of sorts. At Christian’s place of employment a bet is laid down and things progress.

Our two young men find themselves in water that is getting ever hotter as the movie progresses. Suffice to say that Aaron (Elder Davis) is sent home after being witnessed kissing another boy (Christian).

He is excommunicated from his church by his father and their elders and this leads to a suicide attempt and a stint in a reprogramming center to “cure him.”

Christian is under the impression, as we are the viewers, that Aaron was dead because Christian finds his number and calls his house and his mother tells him that she lost her son. Christian goes through some serious mourning.

He does not know the real story of where Aaron is …

In the end, you’ll have to rent the movie to find out what happens.It made me cry like a girl … Go Rent This Film …

This film may be a fiction story but the truth is there. The religious view of the Mormon church is not in dispute. But is portrayed truthfully. Many young gay men and women deal with issues of self and homosexuality every day. Many of them go to an early grave because of what they are put through by those who don’t accept them, family, friends, employers, schools, religion…

If you or someone you know needs help you can call the TREVOR hot line around the clock: 1 -866 – 4 – U – TREVOR …THE TREVOR PROJECT.


Read over on another blog …

Do you believe in Love

“it is summer and some immune-deficiency tourists are getting colds and we locals who cater to them avoid them as much as possible . I do say, though, I haven’t yet seen anyone wearing a protective mask. And, wondrous to report, I haven’t experienced any decline in amorous oral contacts, aka deep tongue explorations, kissing in saundry cozy nooks and crannies.”

Some young people do not know how to choose their words carefully… I can’t express to you Justin enough that being ignorant is not cool, especially when you seem so smart…Picking out certain people to point a finger at is not very wise when you write on a gay blog, we all know who you are talking about, and it strikes me as STUPID…

Read more at: Justin Dunes

I really take it personally as a member of a community of men and women who have lived to see hell and survive to tell the story get written about in a derogatory way. I think that our young friend needs to be educated in the ways of seeing men and women as equal and not “other” and or those who should be avoided. This kind of behavior is so 1990…

Youth has its ignorance. There is no room for ignorance. Not today !!!


A Beautiful Thing…

Dream a Little Dream of Me + Beautiful Thing

make your own kind of music


Hitchcocked…

Found over at: Ministry of Pleasure


Stoned …

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I have my big hair on and my best house coat and a bottle sitting here on the desk, [what was that he said, a bottle?] you know a girl has to have her props to sit and listen to Miss Amy Winehouse on the player… I forgot to buy my rolling papers and I am out of weed [what was that he said, he’s out of weed?] well you know, if I am going to get stoned on music, I want the full frontal effect!!!

Those were the days…

I’ve never spoken of my using days because I’d rather forget them than sit here and tell you my war stories because I am a really bad junkie. I am too nervous and preoccupied with everything else going on to worry about just getting stoned. But I have had my share of close calls and acting out with behavior that was clearly out of character for me, save that I was tainted by the company I chose to keep.

Those people involved in my little circle were really great human beings, save one. Do I miss them, maybe I do. Do I want to go back there, no I don’t. Do I think about them, on the odd occasion, whenever I smell the scent of pot on the street or if someone mentions Mary Jane. I guess I am reminded because I am sitting here listening to Miss Winehouse sing about addiction and pot, and the bottle. Things I have up long ago, it just strikes me odd that I enjoy her music so much.

 Addicted…

Tell your boyfriend next time he around
To buy his own weed and don’t wear my shit down
I wouldn’t care if brave would give me some more
I’d rather him leave you than leave him my draw
When you smoke all my weed man
You gots to call the green man
So I can get mine
And you get yours

Once is enough to make me attached
So bring me a bag and your man can come back
I’ll check him at the door make sure he got green
I’m tighter than airport security team

When you smoke all my weed man
You gots to call the green man
So I can get mine and you get yours

I’m my own man
So when will you learn
That you got a man but I gots to burn
Don’t make no difference if I end up alone
I’d rather have myself and smoke my homegrown
Its got me addicted, does more than any dick did

Yeah I can get mine and you get yours
Yeah I can get mine and you get yours

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It is a quiet night in Montreal. We are expecting a light dusting tonight on the fair city and it is quite cold out. Nothing like curling up under my duvet and reading a little before bed. I have canvased my reads for fodder to write about tonight, and I didn’t find anything topical that I could address. Maybe I did…

The boys have been talking about relationships as of late. And I comment that once you get ‘hitched’ and you learn a routine and life starts to follow a certain routine, those topics of love and sex and commitment fall by the wayside. Being married has severely changed the way I live my life.

Not drinking and drugging changes many things. We do not bar hop like most couples do, one because it costs money to bar hop, taxis to and from the village are costly in the middle of the night because our metro doesn’t run late night. If we do go out to a club, it is a late event, and even that is rare, because of our daily schedule and the time we always go to bed.

Is there a relationship possibility outside the sexual consideration of a partner? Does sex have to be the deciding factor in choosing a mate? Yes and No. The first thing one has to think about is compatibility. I think two people have to know they can get along before they can have a relationship. You have to work past your foibles and shortcomings, and I think it is important to take a look at a persons character, class, their moral center and their connection to their world.

I think that when I met my hubby [then] we were on a similar road, getting clean and sober and all, so we had commonality. [There’s a word for you ‘commonality’]. Like attracts like, and sometimes the universe puts the right person in front of us and if we have eyes to see them, then so be it. But how many of us are looking for universal clues to love, most boys are looking for one thing, SEX, and good sex at that.

When the universe gives us a twirl, we must dance, and if we don’t we might miss out, so big dick aside, if Mr. Right appears it might be a test to see where YOUR heart and character lies. Do we settle for Mr. Right Now or do we wait for Mr. Right???

It is not all about sex, but we did have good sex in the beginning, before all hell broke loose and the universe fucked us royally with a challenge that should have killed us both, alas, I rode the wave on my best board. I fought the tsunami of depression and sorrow and I came out ahead on the relationship side but we got fucked on the sexual side.  God damned pills that are designed to help you in one area of life, fuck you in other areas, so we had to restructure our relationship based on what was important and meaningful.

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What have you done today, to make you feel proud???

Everybody has to leave the nest at some point of life. My sons had particularly big problems like I did like money, people, and knowing how to set up house.  I was missing a very specific and necessary skill set when I moved out on my own, but I was moving because I knew I was gay and that life was waiting for me and my parents were not going to involve themselves in my gay life. So I had to go, and I chose the moment, the hour and the day that would happen on my terms, whether I was ready to go or not, I had to go.

The scent of alcohol, the promise of a career and all the sex I could have was a huge aphrodisiac to a young gay boy. I made all the wrong choices for what I thought were all the right reasons. I made a series of well placed decisions that took me on a journey of self discovery and on the journey I hurt myself and I hurt others.

Was I worried about being Outed, you bet your ass I was. My father would have killed me had I stayed under his roof, as I have written before on many occasions, my father’s internalized homophobia created the wrong atmosphere for a son to come out to his parents. God forbid the family or his friends find out there was a queer in the family.

My problems were just compounded by my sexual issues and my naive sense of self and the world around me. I guess that I thought that if I showed up the world would part and I would be shown the way. [ WRONG] I take a very different stance for my boys today.

For those of you facing coming out and moving out of the house,  let’s forget the labels and the identification of sexual orientation for the moment, let’s find a place to live, let’s find a good job, what nobody knows won’t hurt them or you. Get settled in your life find your way into the world. MAKE 5 friends, those 5 people you are going to trust with your life and your secrets. If not 5 then ONE.

You need One Good Friend, the other four are incidental. Find a safe place to live and a job that will keep you in the financial bracket you are accustomed to, and don’t get caught up in the [pretty faggot, tight ass, good drugs and heavy alcohol] way of life. DO NOT become what some of my reads have become. People who do nothing but drink, drink, and drink, then complain to the rest of us that they are anxious, nervous, fucked up or worse sick with HIV. Remember that once you make your bed, you will lie in it as long as you want to lay there. I don’t drink, so I am not short on words for some of my inebriated reads, over there on the list.

Find charity, a cause that you believe in, find like minded people who will help keep you grounded and whom will fight for you and protect you. You want a community model, the go check out The Mrs Astor. Alexis is someone I respect highly and encourage you to go read, if you are looking for the right model of community action, personal pride and loyalty of friends that is incomparable to many people I know. They are good people, they are loyal to the core and they are active in their community in ways that make me proud to have been a part of that great city during my illustrious career as a young gay man in Miami Beach.

Spend time taking care of others, do something for someone else, just because it is the right thing to do. Take care of your friends, and they will take care of you. If you are in recovery, then find a home group where you live and get active. Find a home and make some coffee, shake some hands, and chair a few meetings.

Get out of yourself each day and do something that is totally not for you, and the universe will reward you in spades. Tuesday has been my day for me for six years now, I don’t take classes on Tuesdays, I make time to give back to my community. I spend time with the people who matter the most to me in my life. I host a meeting here in the city core. I do this because they have helped me stay sober and SANE over the last six years. I don’t know where I would be had it not been for my home group at Tuesday Beginners.

Ok I’ve spent the past hour writing, I think I am done for the moment.

Goodnight from Montreal…


There are not enough hours…

In the day…

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Guess what was on tv as I walked in the door from the meeting tonight… Last week it was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, now tonight, we are already into Christmas specials, and it isn’t even December yet! Aren’t we rushing this a little bit? Not that Christmas Trees are already up in all the stores in Montreal, and the malls are all decorated and have been for more than a week, but still…

We are waiting, tonight, for more snow…

******

Another ‘Stay in your day’ meeting tonight. Live in the moment, one day at a time, and I relate this story once again. One of my friends, when she got sober was so miserable, that dark cloud hung over her head for such a long time. She would come in and complain that she was tired and that she had had a series of bad days, and she would say “I just wish that the day would end.” And she would repeat this phrase week after week. Until after a few months of moaning about the day not being short enough, she walked into our meeting with a smile on her face, as if she had seen God himself and she spoke with a voice we had not heard yet “There are not enough hours in the day…”

In that moment, God was there amongst us. She learned how to stay in her day and how important living in the moment really is for those of us fighting day after day to stay sober and clean.

******

I was thinking about Danny this afternoon. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have him in my life today. When people come into my life, for one reason or another, I think that I have something to learn from them, and they from me. It all begins with hello. And once the conversation begins, I work very hard to continue that conversation. I may be far away, but I am always here. And You are Loved…
******

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I left Dustin a message on his blog about a dream I had about him. It was two nights ago and I was in this really great apartment in some city, I was inside so I couldn’t tell you where we were. But anyways, the apartment was lavishly decorated with fine things and a Christmas tree. The bedroom was beautiful, with a sleigh bed and big comfy duvet and pillows to match. There was an antique clock on the table and tables to the sides of the bed and against the wall, with little antique boxes and such. I remember going out to the kitchen and there was a fire escape outside the window.

But I digress…

It was late and Danny, Dustin and I were there after a night of sitting by the fire, and the dream ended with the three of us snuggling beneath the duvet all comfy and cozy and that’s when the dream ended. I don’t know how the three of us ended up in this dream together, but we did. Hmmm, go figure… I haven’t seen Danny in twenty years, and I’ve never personally met Dustin, but I found it oddly comfortable to be in the dream with them, and I asked whomever, what are these people doing here, to which I got no answer.

And that’s the kind of day it’s been, this 27th day of November 2007.


Boulevard Station

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A small little unassuming nightclub atop a building in Daytona Beach, the haven for young boys on a weekend night, a haunt we used to travel to to get out of Orlando. With video terminals that played videos from the DJ booth.

The time was the late 80’s and young boys and girls gathered to dance, vogue and to play pool. It was a great time to be young, because Billy took care of us in his weekend club. We spent many weekends at this club, listening to music from the 80’s. I am listening to Virtual DJ online and “Strange love” is playing and I am reminded of this memory.

When I was a Light tech in the early 90’s at the Stud, we used to play trash disco and early music from the 1980’s in the club. The music of the 80’s is a backdrop to the lives of many young people who were growing up in that age.

We used to travel over the the Hollywood club, where Mother held court. It was a time of intensity and personal highs and lows. Much happened in those years, good and bad. The Boulevard Station was brightly lit with deco lighting and a hard wood dance floor. It was a great space to party in.

This was the time of khaki pants and penny loafers when I was a young preppy boy, Danny is apt to say I was cute [emphasis on the WAS] now I have aged and fattened like the sacrificial calf. He says I had a special smile, I guess I did, if he remembers it to this day. Flattery will get you everywhere…

Danny himself was a fantastic dancer. He knew his steps and his moves like a professional, I guess this was a major portion of our friendship then. I know we went out dancing a great deal, not that my memory is that sharp on the specifics. But I guess I am in this space to write about this time of my life, because now Danny can fill in the blanks.

I had met a father – brother team his name was Damian, I had it bad for him. They worked at the Hollywood club in Daytona. That was a good memory from Daytona Beach. They were good people, and we had some great times together, but in the end my heart was broken, there is nothing worse than falling for a man who you know isn’t going to return the feelings in the way that you expect him to, I think that was one of my major flaws then. Damian had medical issues that were well above what I could handle but he was a human of the highest caliber, who respected me and our friendship. Alas, good things did not last for long.

A lot transpired during those years that I am glad that I have forgotten, the mania and the crazy men that I was involved with, and the lengths I went to enable self destruction. One of the brighter moments of that incarnation of myself was my dating Radar. He was a boy that worked at the Carribbean Beach Resort at the Tragic Queendom… I really liked him. But once again, that did not last.

Girls just want to have fun… Cyndi Lauper!! YAY !!

Music was such a wonderful part of life in those days, you don’t have that kind of identification these days, no anthems to tell a story, well, life has changed since then and the old anthems remind us of where we have been and what we went through.

We have a club here in Montreal called ‘Parking’ that has a trash disco Saturday night format and as well ‘Le Tube,’ is a video bar that we have been to several times, which I happen to like, although we don’t usually bar hop into the village at night, one because the metro doesn’t run late, and the taxi costs upwards of $10.00 cad a trip in each direction and the night bus is a scary proposition after hours, you never know what you are going to see or happen to you late night on the strip.

There is something to be said about kinship and the feeling of emotion that wells up inside of me to know that someone from my past has reentered my life at this particular moment of time, I believe that there are no coincidences. It is like I have picked up where I left off because my heart is right there in the mix. Friendship is something that I take very seriously. Good friends are necessary for a rounded life and I am loyal to the core of my being, you seriously have to mess up for me to cancel you off my friends list. Now I have second chance to rekindle a special friendship, that I am going to work very hard at maintaining. I’m babbling endlessly now…

UGH!!

Anyways, that is a snapshot of a memory that has risen out of my mind at this moment of the day, maybe more later…

I love you Danny…


All About Me the early years (Coming out Twice Additions)

 

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Edit additions: (Coming Out Twice – Survival Additions)
Danny come and read this…

There were a lot of people we knew and dated in those years, boys were dispensable and relationships were judged on the three week scale. There were a clique of us who used to gather at the Parliament House on weekends, we used to play balcony Bingo – remember that? There were three bars at the Parliament house, the building itself, the bar on the back 40 and the country bar in the back of the site. There was always one room designated for breeder couples that people used to stand outside the windows and watch. That was always a fun time. We were so naughty then.

The Night I came out – was that Saturday night in January after my 21st birthday. That would have been in 1989, that was a  long time ago. I eventually moved to Orlando into that apartment complex that was near Hotel Plaza Boulevard, on the far side of the I-4. Before they built that hotel on the front 40 of the lot. Those apartments were some of the best I had ever lived in, compared to where I live today, in a small 1 bedroom, tower with balcony here in Montreal.

I met Patrick and his BF on a cruise the Christmas prior where I came out to my best friend, they were after him, and he told them that he wasn’t gay, but he thought that I was. I was… So after the holiday I traveled to Orlando to visit friends, and that is when I was outed to the rest of the world where this story picks up, below…

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The Big Night came on a Saturday night. I was dressed for the kill and we drove to the P-House. We paid our cover and walked through the piano bar and into the Foot Light Theatre. Carmella Marcella Garcia was Host and MC. I had never seen a drag show before, but I was quickly hooked. Jimmie, Dana, Rusty and Carmella, Rene and Cheena, and the list of many others graced that stage over those years.

Patrick walked me into the disco in the back of the bar; The Communards were starting up on the turntable. Jimmy Somerville was singing “Never can say Goodbye!” I danced with Patrick – my first gay dance, and then he kissed me. I wouldn’t have been mean to anyone, on this particular night, it being the first night I was ever in the Parliament House. Patrick’s BF was a flight attendant, Patrick was much better behaved than his mate at the time. Patrick and I would visit the Parliament house again and again. But those days were far and few between. My memory of this time is sketchy today.

Out of all the men I dated while I was away, only one was the most important, and that was Charlie, maybe because we weren’t boyfriends. But we relied on each other and we had really great sex, whenever we wanted. He was a season employee at the Tragic Queendom, so our love life was doomed from the start.

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Much can be said about this time of our lives, when we were young and beautiful. Carmella was doing “Under the Boardwalk” and Rusty was doing “Fancy” by Reba. Boys were a plenty, and beauty was the order of the day. I was a virgin in the clouds of heaven. I lived in that apartment complex across the street from what was then (Seasonal housing) for employees. That’s where Dustin, John and Charlie lived, we used to go to Southern Nights, which is closed now…

If YOU say you are who you are, you had an apartment in that apartment complex too. There is a huge hotel that sits on that space in front of the complex (Where I lived), where we used to have a birds eye view of E.P.C.O.T fireworks at night. Damn they built that hotel on the land in front. Patrick and his BF (Mark??) was it lived there too, that’s why I moved there. To be near them and to be gay.

There were many gay boys in that Wyndham complex, if memory serves??? We used to gather at the hot tub at night after work. Then they built Pleasure Island next to the, now revamped downtown Disney. We used to dance at Mannequins and drink and get drunk at the Adventurers Club and there was the skate rink that hosted happy hour and you got a ticket to any other club on the island afterwards. Mannequins was great with the light show, the dancers, who lived next door to me, David and Robert. The spinning dance floor where the boys would start off dancing off sides moving towards each other as the night progressed.

The Parliament House was a haven for us boys, I remember LEE the bar back. He was a stud. I had “HAD”him one Valentines night, when John and I were there togethe, we weren’t a couple, but friends, Lee came over and said something to me and we ended up disappearing for a couple of hours to have sex in the electrical room while he was on shift that night, and didn’t we get caught coming in separate entrances into the Footlight Theatre by Ms.P that night…. Look who just had sex, aren’t we the lucky ones – aren’t we??

Many memories exist inside that disco at the Parliament house. The Night to end all nights was New Years Eve, when we deposited on a table for eight, and in the disco was where I caught my boyfriend ROCKY sucking off his ex on New Years night, after we had rented the limo, bought champagne and shit, and he ditched me in the theatre to be with his ex, and that night I didn’t go home, I went home with a friend because I was upset and wasted.

And when I did get home the next day (MY EX Rocky) moved out everything from the apartment – he up and left me high and dry with an empty apartment that we had just moved into – the complex wasn’t even finished, behind the grocery store down the street from Hotel Plaza Boulevard… Those were the days…

You know who you are – of you say you are who you say you are, that you and I were close friends, we spent a great many nights together talking and touching, but you would never have sex with me, which was a bummer… I raise the faith question because that set you apart from all the other boys I knew then. I had never known a Mormon boy before. Since I study religion these days, I remember you very well…

There was another boy I was in love with, his name escapes me but he was a MORMON boy who went on to be one of the Great ‘Voices of America’ at E.P.C.O.T after I moved away. He took care of me when I was sick and when I had surgery on my foot.

(I was NOT HIV + then) and he had beautiful eyes and a smile that lit up a room. We had a very chaste relationship and that was ok with me.

I flirted with conversion of virgin boys. I had two roommates in a 3 bedroom apartment at one time, David, Robert and myself. We had three friends who lived across the way from us in another cast complex; Dustin, John and my “buddy” Charlie. John was the odd man out. And he loved to tease me.

He wore Obsession by Calvin Klein. He would spray it on my pillows and on my towels in my bathroom. He taunted me with sex, and I was not one to say no to a challenge. We went out one night, we got drunk and he got in my bed. He crossed the field, jumped the fence and dug right in from the first moment. I have a bottle of Obsession in my bathroom today.

This little story did not end nicely, but I did see John at the park several times after this period of time. I went looking for him on several occasions – during the years that I lived in Miami and visited the parks. We were young and we did a lot of stupid things, we hurt each other, we were petulant, and queeny.

It wasn’t a stretch to think how people back stabbed each other,  sleeping with each others boyfriends, it was a nasty business. But I guess we had to go through that to grow up. If I could – and the stars aligned, and people were resurrected from the dead, I would like to go back and visit that time in my life, but we can never go backwards, only forwards.

I worked in the grocery store on the road that went up past Hotel Plaza Boulevard. That was a short lived job, because I got mixed up with a really bad crowd of people. It was the most hectic and hateful period of my life, because the men I got involved with were strange and crazy. When I moved from Orlando to Daytona Beach, what a HUGE mistake that was. I should have never did that. But the things we do for love, right???

But there was the Boardwalk club we used to drive out to on weekend nights from Orlando to Daytona Beach, that was a lot of fun.  Was it Danny, the tall young man whom I was hanging out with, his mom used to bar hop with us? I guess that was his name, if memory serves. It was so long ago, I am sitting here trying to remember the past and my memory is shoddy at best. 

Danny – he was a great dancer, he used to do that gig from Janet Jackson, Rhythm  Nation from the video, that I can remember, we used to have fun together. We were all so young then, my how times have changed. I don’t know what else to write. There are memories of being backstage at the Parliament House and all the pageants that we had been part of, the dancers and the holiday shows they used to put on.

There was the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas show that was always fun, the Valentines night show, and one show in particular when They did the “Red Dress on the pedistle number with the song “Lady in Red” where the girls came out and were set on their white pedistles.

Many of those drag queens, [read:friends] are now long since dead. Dana Manchester was the last of them that I knew, we worked together at a bar in Miami many years later at the Ozone Club. Dana was sick, and so was I. I was facing my death then, and she was very supportive of me in those early years when I was so sick. She died a few years after I had moved to Miami Beach, and one night I was at Nicks house and saw a report in one of those gay rags, and I wept because I really loved her, sad that so many of our friends died from this god awful disease. But I survived,  I cannot tell you why I am still alive, but I am here. Someone up there is liking me ….


Blast from my Past .. On Coming Out !!


Here it is: The Anthem of my Life… Jimmy Somerville with the Communards Circa, it was early 1989 and I had turned 21 the summer before my move to Orlando. I’ve moved out of the house and away from my family to be a gay boy. Mark and Patrick have taken me to the Parliament House:

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For my “Indoctrination Ceremony.” We pay our cover and walk through the piano bar into the FootLight Theatre, a path I could walk blindly if necessary…

Carmella Marcella Garcia is doing “Under the Boardwalk” by Bette Midler, Rusty Faucett is doing “Fancy” by Reba McIntyre and I have just attended my first drag show in my life in the Footlights Theatre. Jimmy Johnson has done “Ain’t No Mountain Higher!” I am smitten with him. I loved him so. He brought me roses once. I am now a draglett…

We advance into the disco with Patrick on my arm. The lights are flashing, young gay boys are dancing to the beat, and I am out of my mind Drunk on the scene alone. If Heaven had a name then it would be Patrick! This song comes on and Patrick pulls me onto the dance floor and I am caught up in the music. He holds me close and then, like magic, he kissed me and for a brief moment I saw the light …

That memory is 19 years old. I have come so far. And I LIVED…

If I could have a drink, and One night to do it, with the people who were there just as it had happened then, this IS the night I would choose.


QAF

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I’m having a momentary loss of self, so here is Brian and Justin…


Finding Jesus

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In all the stories I have told you about my teen age years and the youth group and especially the retreats at “Camp Get Away,” here is the picture of Jesus that welcomed us to the first “One on One” retreat of the school year. After riding that bus for hours, arriving at the camp after dark, we would walk down the path through the woods to the meeting hall where this face was on the large screen.

When I started at Concordia and I visited Sister Michelina’s office, she had this same picture hanging on the wall, and that just freaked me out because I had not seen this face for decades and it brought me right back. I have never been able to find this picture in any of the Christian book shops in my area. Maybe one of you have seen it and can get me a copy. I don’t know the title of this particular shot.

I was over on one of my community message boards reading over at Revolution Church, and I saw that someone had this picture as their avatar. So I captured a copy and made some augmentations to the brightness and contrast, here is My Jesus…

I really Love this picture, because it captures the spirit of an entire segment of my life. This is the Jesus I met over 25 years ago.