Dear Young Gay Men

Dear Young Gay Men,

Believe it or not, there those of us over 50 who look at and view you with great pride. Why? Because we know what we marched for, struggled for, were beaten down for and for those we watched die, are the ones who paved the way for the open life you currently get to live. We fought very hard to get to this point in our gay history and you are a proud product of that battle. We are very proud of you.

You know, I can remember going to my first gay bar in 1985. It was a small bar in Cape Girardeau, MO. My first night in a gay bar they had to lock and barricade the front door of the bar because it was being surrounded by angry, straight, redneck, white men who did not want a gay bar in their town and were willing to take whatever steps necessary to make sure it would go away. Southern Missouri is Klan country and it was an eye opening experience and lesson on what it meant to be gay in middle Missouri.

I can remember the heart sinking feeling I felt when I saw the first spot of KS on the leg of a friend and knowing exactly what that meant. I can remember my other friend squeezing my arm and whispering, “Oh my God. He is sick.” In those days, you kept your status as quiet as possible until it was no longer possible to keep it quiet. I was one of the lucky ones who remained and still is negative, but many of my close friends were not that lucky. We saw a whole generation of our friends die because they did have the ability to become undetectable or Prep to help prevent it in the first damn place. You got it and you died. It was that simple. You know, it got to a point where I could hug someone and instantly know if they were sick. There was this heat which would emanate from their bodies. It was also a very sad thing to look into the eyes of someone you knew and knowing they would not be around for long. I learned a lot about bravery and grace in the face of death from my dying friends. Their faces and stories stick with me still today.

The things you would witness and the stories you would hear were truly terrifying. Have you ever driven past a house spray painted with the words, “AIDS FAG DIE,” well I have and within that house was someone very sick and dying. I can remember someone getting hit by a car in front one of the bars and no one wanting to touch the dying boy because of the blood. All gays were considered untouchable just in case you might have it whether you did or not. You were sick until proven otherwise. We even heard stories about hospital workers who would avoid patients completely who were dying. Many times friends would be caring for them under the direction of those who refused. We heard stories of families who could not find funeral homes to handle the remains of their loved ones. Bodies were buried sometimes in secret locations or worse. Many of the times the families did not want to have anything to do with their dead child in much the same way they did when they were alive. Sometimes the only people we could trust or cling to during this time was each other and we did the best we could for those who needed us.

I can remember hearing daily on the nightly news how we were the scourge of the earth and we were dying  because that is what we deserve. We were told daily it was God’s revenge we were dying in mass. God was killing us. Most of you would have no clue who Anita Bryant is or even Jerry Falwell, but for us those names signify the worst forms of hate. Those early years were the worst. Everywhere we turned we were being called deviant, evil, cursed, and unnatural.

Of course, we battled much more than just the plague. The idea we would somehow be able to marry was a dream which none of us saw being a reality. Most of the time a partner could not even be in the room with his dying partner if the family wished to keep him out. May surviving partners had to deal with being less than in the life of their most important relationship. Insurance did not recognize the partnership and you could forget collecting death benefits which left many surviving partners, grieving, alone, and struggling.

The idea of seeing a gay couple in a television commercial was out of the question. Gay film in the most innocent form was considered scandalous and controversial. There were very few out gay celebrities. Most of the times we heard about them being gay after their death from AIDS. We had very little gay examples. But we had our Judy, Liza, Bette, Madonna, and Cher. They are the ones who helped them escape the madness of our reality.

We were not able to have children and if you did have children you had better not let anyone know you were gay because those children would be taken away without question or consideration. So many of us raised our children by ourselves and in silence. We were not able raise our children as out gay men and that means adoption was also out of the question. Those of us who did raise children where the true pioneers. We fought numerous battles to raise our children and we lived in constant fear of them being taken away from us. This means many of us had hidden relationships or simply none at all.

I came out at 29 and now I am 54. I remember those dark days clearly. Then I see you with your partners holding hands, getting married, or playing with your children in the open together and I feel pride because we have come a long way. Bu, sadly the fight is far from over. We have to continue to fight to preserve what we have gained. We have to continue fight for what we still need to achieve. It is not going to be easy. The point here is, you younger guys need to stop and remember what we came through to get here.You cannot take anything for granted because there are forces who would rip it away in a second if they could. Trust me they are trying to do just that.

Now you may say, it is just another Old Queen bitching at us, but honestly that is not the case at all. I am telling you this because it is becoming more apparent that your time to fight could be just ahead when you look at the state of the world and where it is headed. I am afraid for your future and it seems that this struggle is going to continue and you are going to need to fight. The time for our equal marriage celebration could very well be over.

You cannot be silent. You cannot run away and hide. You are going to need to take to the streets and believe me when I tell that can be a very scary place to be. But you would understand this if you had marched or attended a Pride Parade in some of those early years. During those years, Pride was shown on the news as a horror and not something which should or could be celebrated. That is okay because you have us. We will stand beside you and if you will listen, we will help to show you the way. We have been here before. We know how it all works. Activism is a long road and it is tiring road, but it is required of each and every single one of us. It is your ticket to the show. It is the price we must pay as gay men.

So don’t roll your eyes at the older person who might say hello or try to discuss things with you because the truth is if it were not for them your life would be very, very different today. Oh, and by the way, not all of us want to date younger guys. Most of us are way over the drama and chaos which comes with the younger crowd. Seriously, we do not want to have to explain the beauty of Chaka Kahn and Sylvester over and over again. If you do not know how Sylvester makes you feel then chances are you are wrong for one of us. We like our men mighty real.

The point is, we older gay men are settled in who we are and our relationships. We can be your friend. In fact, would be happy to call your friend. BUT, don’t assume we want more from you than friendship because in most cases we really don’t. We have had enough to deal with in life not to have to deal with your daddy issues. Oh, and by the way, take a good hard look at us because this is exactly how you are going to look in 30 or more years. That is right. Like it or not you are going to age too. So show us some fucking respect. Besides, most of us bitchy old queens could run circles around your muscle bound asses in the gym because at this age we have learned the importance of cardio. Why do you think we are still alive?

Take care of yourselves and understand we are all in this together. We are here for you if you need us and always remember silence does equal death. Never forget those who came before.

 

Advertisements

Dear Judge Kavanaugh

Dear Judge Kavanaugh,

You may very likely get confirmed to the Supreme Court. But what you need to understand is that you will never be able to enjoy your appointment because you will live your life in constant fear from when and where the second shoe is going to drop and you will either be forced to resign or impeached. Take a lesson from 1969 Judge Kavanaugh because history is going to repeat itself.

This is not just going to go away. You may be surrounded by those who can protect you at the moment but that is going to change and change very, very soon. You are going to have more enemies than you could ever imagine. You are going to have more people working for your undoing than you could ever think was possible. You Sir may get into the Supreme Court but in the end it is going to be your curse and not your legacy. Karma is a bitch and she is coming for you. Her name is WOMAN and she does not forget.

Sincerely,
The Majority of United States Citizens Opposed to YOU

#nokavanaugh

The Sons of America are Watching

I raised two boys to become good men. I raised them to never hit a woman and to stand up for those women they see being abused. I taught them how to respect the women in their lives and that also included their mother who left us years ago. Self respect is about respecting others. I taught them that.
 
These past few weeks have been horrible to watch as the GOP and Donald Trump are teaching a whole new generation of boys it is okay to hurt and degrade women. They are teaching them it is okay to be drunk and belligerent. It is okay to laugh at a helpless girl beneath you as you try to rape her. It is okay to destroy your accuser at all costs in order to hide the truth of their action.

Parents take stock in what your boys are being exposed to because it does matter. Sit down and have a very serious conversation with your boys because they are watching and they are listening to a President who tells them the enemy is the abused and not the abuser or her rapist. He is telling them to fear the accuser. He is telling them it is okay to abuse women and then to make fun of them  and destroy them when they step forward to report they were hurt, harmed, battered or raped.

 
If your sons cannot respect women they will not respect their grandmother, their sisters, their very own mother, and their future spouse. If they cannot respect the women in their lives I can promise you they will never respect themselves as well. Abuse is not okay and they need desperately to be told this over and over. One thing for sure is you do not want Trump or the GOP to coach your sons on how to treat women. We know how that will turn out in the end. Sad times we are living in.

My Soul is Worth More than Silence

There was a time when I did not say much publicly about politics. That was before it was no longer just political bickering and it became a fight for ALL OF US living the life that we choose and with whom. That was before we were in a fight for the ideals of what the United States is suppose to be about and the country which so many gave their lives to preserve. The greatest generation understood that.

When I first started being vocal with my rage against Trump and the GOP someone said to me, “You really should not take sides since you are an author and you want people to buy your books.” It obviously was a veiled threat. That was the first of many times and each time I would say to them, “I would rather go to my grave penniless than to support hate.”

You know I saw Dolly Parton say something completely the opposite the other day about not saying anything because she did not want to offend anyone. Well that may have been true when you could have peddled this off as a political point of view, but you see Dolly it changed when it became moral. Babies are being put in cages, laws are being passed to legally hate and you are worried someone will not buy a fucking record. You’re right Dolly. Someone will not buy another record or buy another concert ticket of yours because I can guarantee you I fucking won’t.

So for anyone out there that thinks I will stand by and watch the destruction of this country quietly because I will lose book sales, well then you do not know me and you obviously have never truly read one of my books in the first damn place. I don’t care. I will not be quiet and I will not be silent. I just might write a book about it all in the end because that is who I am and many people should write the truth about these dark days.

So for those of you out there who have said, “God bless Dolly for not getting involved,” I have and will continue to block you because Dolly is not doing God’s work by remaining silent while babies are being held in cages. Dolly is not doing God’s work while old men are being beat in the street for being a different color. Dolly is not doing Gods work as another gay couple is beat for holding hands. Dolly is being greedy and Dolly is being a coward. End of story.

1507-Albert-Einstein-Quote-Try-not-to-become-a-man-of-success-Rather

Dear Homophobes

Dear Homophobes,
You can cheer on court cases which say you do not have to serve us a cake or whatever other discriminatory hate you can come up with. Truth is, if you are one of these discriminating businesses I do not want to give you my money anyway. I have spent years boycotting Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby, and Tommy Hilfiger just to name a few due to their associations and practices. Trust me there are enough LGBTQ in the community and allies out here to buy goods and services from that we truly do not need to beg you to take our money. I beg no one to take my money.

Secondly, I do not care if you do not approve of my marriage. I simply do not because it is truly none of your business who I am married to. The highest court in the land can say it is not a legitimate marriage and that would be okay. You know why? Because my marriage is between myself and my husband and no one else. I do not and have never needed a piece of paper to say it is real. Seriously fuck you and your reality.

Third, all of this in the end is going to hurt you a lot more than it is going to hurt us. You see we came of age in a world who hated and scorned us. We grew up watching you proclaiming AIDS was God’s wrath upon us. We grew up with Anita Bryant and the Westboro Baptist Church on the news nightly and more hate than you could ever imagine for just being born this way. So you need to understand there is not a lot you can do to us. We will survive because we have always survived the worst you have been able to throw at us and we are still here. So legislate and get your court rulings because the truth is we are queer and we are here and there is nothing and I mean nothing you can do about it. Now can I get an Amen up in here?

No Hate Allowed

“NO GAYS ALLOWED.” This is a picture of a very real sign with very real anger and hate in its meaning. It is not a made up sign but a very real sign which is today hanging in a store window and in other windows like it across this country. This is where we truly are, at this moment in history.

You know I have tried to be understanding with the Trump voter. Why would our family and friends vote for an agenda that would hate us? It was very hard when I found out I had actual family and friends who voted for this monster of hate and division. I was shocked they would support an agenda so clearly designed to hurt not only LGBTQ people but all sorts of different kinds of people. I would never do that to people who I loved and supported. I would not do that to those whose corner I was truly in. So, I forgave them because there were a lot of things being said at that point which seemed impossible and untrue. Sure, some of it was denial. Those who are supposed to care for us surely would not support hatred against us. For me this thought went against all logic and reason. I was brought up to believe family and friends were to love and support each other. It was with utter shock that I saw people I should have trusted turn their backs upon the well-being of myself and others for who they are, where they came from, and the color of their skin. A lot of water has gone under that bridge. That was then and this now.

NOW, I am way past understanding. If family and friends are still supporting Trump and/or his agenda then it is obvious I cared way too much for those family members and friends because it is now brutally obvious they did not care about me or my family in the way we cared about them. You cannot support hate and then, in return, expect the hated to understand. I don’t understand and I know there are a whole lot more like me who also just do not understand it. How can a person, who you would have trusted your children with, support an agenda that hates you and also has no problem ripping children away from their families and caging them? No exaggeration. These things are happening. And at this point,  ALL of the haters just need to move on because we cannot be family or friends anymore. True family and friends do not support hate against each other. And I will not support anyone who supports harming a child. It really is that simple and something I have struggled with over the past couple of years. Hard to believe but this is where things are at. Time to make some hard choices, but I have no problem making those choices because I have had a whole lot of family and friends make those choices for me.

Trump is evil – and those who support him are part of that evil as well. Trump hates my family and those who support him hate my family as well. Why would I open our house and life to those who support hate against us? Why would I trust people around my grandchildren who have no problem caging the children of another?  These are people I can no longer trust and they are people I sure no longer need in or around my life. And the sad thing is, these are only a few aspects of his hate agenda that they support. There is really much, much more. THEY have made my choice to move on and away from them quite simple and easy.

Thank you for letting me vent. This truly how I feel. If you support the hate that hates us or others, you then become responsible for that hate because you gave it and are still giving it power. If that is the case, I have no use for that hate or you in my life. I can’t because I cannot support those who support hate. It just does not make sense. So I am proverbially hanging up my own sign and my sign says, “NO HATE ALLOWED.”

 

Stand Up Be Heard

I have said from the start of this Trump hate filled nightmare that love will continue to Trump hate and the hate carried in the hearts of his followers.

This year I celebrate Pride in a new city and country which has opened its arms to accept myself and my husband as new residents despite the horrible behavior of the illegitimate President residing in the White House. He was put there by Russian influence and not a majority of the people of the USA. He is not our President and never will be.

Love Trumps hate and it always will. He and his hate will come to an eventual end. We LGBTQ have been here all along and we will be here long after the Orange Hitler is gone.

Stand tall. Stand Proud. And remember Silence=Death and we will not go into any type of future quietly. Not today. Not tomorrow. Raise your voices and be heard! I love you all!