Dear Andy Gipson Mississippi state Rep. (R),
Well, I wholeheartedly support your ‘put homosexuals to death’ position…you know…kill a gay for Jesus. Yay. You’ve got my support.
However, I support you on one condition. You can kill any one of us..as long as you can look us in the eye and kill us with your bare hands. Your hands around our throats. For Jesus.
You know, like vegetarians who urge carnivores to try killing their own meat before they eat another burger.
I mean, it’s one thing to say something terrible like that Andy but it’s another doing it…isn’t it?
I’ve posted some pictures of some gay people and their friends below for you to imagine shooting or gassing.
I saw you with your kids. You’re obviously a good dad. I mean…apart from wanting to commit genocide.
Have you seen pictures of the gestapo on their days off? Holding their kids in their arms?
I noticed too that you dress your kids in army uniforms. Are you training them to kill gays?
I was in a pub once called the Admiral Duncan in London that was bombed by a man like you who wanted to kill gays. He killed as many heterosexuals as he killed homosexuals. He went to prison for a very long time.
Will it make you happy or sad when you squeeze the life out of your first gay?
Andy!!! God forbid! Have you ever thought your children might be homosexual? What will you do when your children want to come out? When your children ‘come out’ will you enjoy killing them?
How will you feel? Taking their lives for Jesus? I thought you people were pro-life?
Apparently, at the concentration camps in Germany (during the last great state sanctioned homocleansing) where large numbers of gays and lesbians were murdered…the guards tortured us before butchering us.
Could you imagine doing that?
Do you ever have thoughts like that?
How exactly do you want to kill us? I mean, there are millions of us…in God’s great plan…he sure fucked things up.
Disposing of all that gay meat and bones may very well increase the deficit you despise so much.
I’ve given your problem of eradicating us gays a great deal of thought.
It occurs to a simple-minded man like me that however many of us you kill we will return.
Every generation you straight people manage to make more gay people.
If, for instance, you could determine when we were fetus that we might be gay…would you offer free abortions to women…NOOOO!!!! No abortions. Nothing FREE!!! The deficit!!
OH…yes…we’re probably evidence of the devil’s work? Is that right? But, I can eat garlic and sprinkle holy water on my forehead without turning to dust or the water burning my skin.
I must admit that I’ve thought about murdering some of my exes and if you could start…when the day comes…and you get permission to murder us…can you murder my ex first? I mean, before me. So I can see it happen maybe? Then you can turn the gun on me.
Have you ever considered just murdering gay people for fun? You seem like you might enjoy it.
Thank God Jesus has people like you to help him at difficult times like this.
I thought ‘thou shalt not kill‘ was a commandment but you people seem to make this bible stuff up as you go along.
Do you think you could help me go straight, stop hankering after a mouthful of cock?
I may renounce my gayness and come join your congregation. Come and live at your house. Ex gay. I’m too old to be gay anyway.
No. I’m not doing that. I’m a butt fucking gay. Too old to be ashamed of who I am. Too old.
I live in California. If you are ever here and feel like killing me for being gay…or any other reason…just let me know.
And just in case you didn’t think it could get any worse:
The charming words of Charlie Worley, another gay killing pastor.
There was a moment this afternoon when, yet again, I felt totally at peace with who and where I was. Not only did I feel as if I was inhabiting my own skin but I wanted for nothing. That is a wonderful feeling.
As in any full life there are problems…but nothing that seems to steer me away from this feeling of being settled, peaceful and at one with the world.
I walked to the new road…it was wonderful…it’s nearly finished…not that I will ever drive on it.
I want to cuddle up with someone. To share my bonhomie.
75 pages into the script. It’s fucking brilliant…even if I say so myself.
I had no idea yesterday was Friday. I thought it was Wednesday. That’s how disorienting the mountain can be.
I have been trapping squirrels. Peanut butter and Weetabix. My secret weapon. The little dog at my side. Spent the rest of the day under the deck clearing dead leaves.
Paid water bill in Malibu, picked up some milk.
Dinner with friends. Crappy Cafe Habana. The rudest waitress on the planet.
Cold mist over the mountain. The weather is totally fucked up.
Apparently The ‘A’ List is very amusing. Ian had an advance screener. I probably don’t come off very well. Never mind. I am, according to Ian…referred to as ‘smelly’. Watch the show on Logo, Monday night. More will be revealed.
Because you love me (huh?) an anonymous ‘friend’ out there decided to send a recent picture of Jake.
Please don’t do it. As you are well aware, it just inflames the situation.
I don’t want to see him or hear anything about him. I am at peace with him. Want the best for him.
I forgave him for writing that horrible email, for lying to me. His lies, in retrospect, were perfectly understandable. He was in a terrible situation. I forgive you for being selfish and insensitive….for doing what perhaps all your non-sober friends would think perfectly reasonable.
I forgive you for wanting me to be something I never was. I forgive you because you didn’t know.
What is my part in all of this? When everyone around me was warning not to get involved I ignored you all. I ignored John. I ignored Mr. P. I ignored Dr. D and my therapist Jill. Instead of going to meetings and connecting with dependable friends I sank into my addiction. Acting out with a straight identified man.
Regardless of what he morphed into…he was not mine to love. It is indeed very alluring to be told that you are loved but I am old enough, experienced enough to have seen it for what it was. I chose not to.
I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger. I’m sorry for bruising you inside and out. I’m sorry that I couldn’t stop myself from loving you. I’m sorry that I was insensitive and selfish. I’m sorry for shouting. I’m sorry I lied. Most of all, I was wrong to have waged this war against you, not least because I have done myself irreparable damage.
I was wrong.
I was weak.
I fell for him…as many will.
You are a beautiful, sexy, romantic, intelligent man. Above all…you are curious. If you are not already, you will make someone very happy, very proud. You will make some equally honorable man a great husband, you will be a good father.
I wanted you for myself. In a different narrative that wouldn’t be so bad. But you had just come out, bravely left one life to make something brand new. I should have been a support, a conduit.
Peace comes from acceptance and forgiveness.
I hope one day you will find it in your heart to forgive. I don’t need to know that you have.
I imagine that he is out there doing his best to be honest. Living in New York, working every day.
Connecting to his new gay life.
I hope he marvels at his good fortune: his new gay life. The opportunities it affords. With marriage and babies and freedom…it’s a great time in New York to be a gay man.
Both Zach and Dan told me that I should stop writing about Jake. Zach told me that it made me sound weak. Well, that maybe. Weak or not, it’s time to move on.
At some point soon I have to remove (yet again) any reference to him from this blog. Any photograph, his name etc. It just has to be. Not because I am being forced but because it is the right thing to do. As if it never happened. As if we never happened.
This blog and his name written here ties him to me as much as I have strapped myself to him like a suicide bomb.
So, Adieu my friend.
I am writing this at The Country Mart in Malibu waiting for Karim as he stands in line for our lunch.
Some of those places we visited. I will cherish those memories. I will overlook the problems. I will keep quiet now about what we loved most because only we know.
I sat quietly in St Patrick‘s cathedral.
Just me and the Little Dog strangely all alone in that vaulted place.
I have no idea how or why I ended up there. I wanted avocado on toast at Gitane not a divine intervention.
I genuflect and bow my head.
I don’t really believe in Jesus. It’s a lovely idea but nah…Jesus is not my friend. God, on the other hand, is my friend and it was to him that I genuflect, to him that I kneel and to him that I found myself praying with some adolescent insistence.
I kept on praying for the strength to forgive. Please let me have the strength to forgive him. Forgive his childish letter, forgive him for so crudely lying his way into my life. Forgive him for being ordinary. Yes, that sounds cruel but I wanted him to be extraordinary and he just isn’t.
We only have a few more days before I face The Penguin in court and all I want is to forgive him, to look into his face and forgive him. I am praying hard that happens.
I don’t mind listening to anything he throws at me…I know he is fighting for his life…as long as I am at peace. He made some really, really silly mistakes. Mistakes that not only impacted on my life but on every person around him.
If only he had the guts to just say that he was sorry, he has no idea how forgiving I can be.
I spoke to John yesterday about unanswered questions and he made a very good point.
If, for instance, I asked my step-father why he did what he did to me, he really wouldn’t know. He didn’t know. When I confronted him all those years ago he collapsed into my arms. Defeated by my directness. It was the only time I ever saw him vulnerable.
The Penguin has no idea why he did what he did so it’s really no use asking him why. Even though I want to know so badly.
Last night I rolled around a large bed with a young man I met in the park. He walked to my house, brought me lilacs, paid for my dinner and as people are want to do, flicked through various photographs on my iPhone left over from when I first met The Penguin.
He said, “He looks like me.”
Yes, I said. ”He does look like you but he’s not at peace like you are.”
NYC is jam-packed with beautiful jewish boys.
Thanks Donald. You have been revealed.
Not only are you despicable for decrying gay marriage but now you have forced a black man in the highest office in the land to show his birth certificate like an undocumented worker. What now?
Now you have the evidence that Obama with his weird name is really American you have decided to challenge the authenticity of his education.
A bi-product of your unrestrained Obama hatred? The US press is finally talking about the vile racism that motivates you as well as these terrible Tea Party Republicans, these ghastly birther people. They are finally acknowledging what I have been writing for months: that these hateful people simply cannot come to terms with the fact that Obama is a black man in the White House.
Why has it taken them so long to articulate this?
Donald Trump. What a terrible man.
His crude attacks on Obama may very well have finally focused the minds of this dumbed down, frenzied American media. Even the so-called intelligent press jumped on the Birther conspiracy band wagon. Now, like guilty children they stand back from the story embarrassed that they had anything to do with it in the first place.
Let us not forget that rotting at the very heart of this ‘news’ story are the mutilated bodies of countless black men, women and children whose enslavement, torture and death white supremacists like Trump, Limbaugh et al still gloat over.
Hung drawn and quartered, their bodies swing in trees for all to see. This is exactly what is happening now. An intellectual lynching. I say again, these white, resentful fools are determined to undermine this President, not because he is a bad President but because he is black.
Fuck you Donald Trump. Fuck you.
Robby and I walked on the beach yesterday. The Little Dog was bitten (not badly) by a three-legged terrier. He was terrified and screamed like a baby. He is a bit traumatized today. Keeping close to me. The wound is healing.
I cooked a huge pasta dish for dinner and we sat on the terrace in the warm night air talking about the origins of Christianity. The origins of the myth of Jesus and the pagan stories that fed into that myth. After a while Robby went quietly to his room. I asked if he was ok.
He said, “It’s like finding out that Father Christmas is a lie.”
He was really perplexed, his faith in the literal teaching of the Bible has been shaken.
This morning Juan came for breakfast to discuss his food truck idea. We drank coffee and looked over the ocean. The sea is calm. Elsewhere tornadoes are raging through communities in Alabama.
I am thinking about the idea of mid-life crisis. Will expand on this when I know what I want to say.
Fuck you Donald Trump.
50 years ago this month my Mother, eight months pregnant, was scrubbing floors for nuns at a catholic ‘Mother and Baby’ home in the depths of rural Kent. For 6 months, this teenage girl, had undergone an emotionally disfiguring baptism of shame.
The young girls in this Catholic facility were persuaded that for their acts of fornication and subsequent pregnancies they should be punished before God and their unborn, bastard children maligned.
This penance would not edify my Mother. She would not repent. She had already glimpsed the burgeoning freedoms of post-war Britain. She had met a rich, well-dressed, exotic, Persian boy who drove a sports car and had given herself to him. She was aspirational, a teenage girl with an appetite for the modern world. She wanted what he had, the freedom he had but he wanted less from her than she from him and after moments of unbridled passion she was pregnant and abandoned. One can only imagine how dreadful she felt telling her Edwardian parents that she was carrying me, knowing that her life would never be the same again.
My grandmother, disgusted by her willful daughter’s precocious ambition, spoke to a priest who organized seven long months of incarceration at the Mother and Baby home where she would be forced to abandon her dreams in exchange for shame, resentment and fear.
My grandparents abandoned her to her fate. During the 7 months she was sent away they did not visit her once. After I was born they accepted her home begrudgingly.
Most of the girls would give up their babies. Some of them willingly some, like my mother, unwillingly.
She could not breastfeed me. I refused to suckle. Perhaps I already knew that life was not worth living? The nuns insisted and forced me onto her nipple. My mother left me behind at the Mother and Baby home to be adopted but fate or circumstance or racism intervened. I could not be adopted. My skin was olive toned, my hair curly, my eyes jet black. It was obvious to all the prospective parents who viewed me during the time I was offered up for adoption that I would not fit invisibly into any nice, white family.
By July the 8th 1960 the day of my birth the door had well and truly shut on the promises of the age.
Remember, during the first few months of the 1960’s my mother was unaware that this decade in the United Kingdom would be described variously as ‘swinging’, ‘progressive’ and ‘free’.
What of these nuns now? These Brides of Christ? Where was Jesus when all of this was going on? Where was the love of God?
My Mother was neither free to keep me even though she begged to do so and the home I would eventually end up in, although loving, was certainly not progressive nor swinging.
My Grandmother, in a rare moment of charity, decided to go fetch me and I ended up, once again, with my teenage mother and her mother and her mother in a small, semi-detached house in a genteel seaside town. Besides these three women I lived with my two aunts and my sickly grandfather. Victorian Herne Bay was, was at that time, still enjoying the benefit of the second longest pier in England, a bandstand and the cavernous Kings Hall where polite tea dances were held.
There are photographs of me ensconced in the bosom of this dysfunctional family. I was the son my grandfather never let my grandmother have. She doted on me, walked me through the streets come rain or shine. Then, she let me go.
During the darkest days of my childhood I would try to get back to that house. A house I knew and loved but when I got there it was never the house I remembered. She sent me back again and again.
I lived there for two years until my mother married a local lad and we moved to Whitstable. My Grandmother was thrilled to have her sullied daughter married. It was, in fact, against all the odds. She was ‘taken off my hands’ my Grandmother later told me.
50 years ago. 50 years. I have lied about my age for so long that I am in shock when I type those words. The number has come too soon. I am not prepared to be this old nor was I ever expecting it. Shocking! Why did I never expect to live? On many occasions during my childhood I expected to die at the hands of my angry step-father.
When I finally escaped that man I sought out equally destructive situations.
I have been hankering after the long sleep since I was born.
As I sit at my desk in Los Angeles my greatest triumph, if at all my only triumph, has been to survive. To avoid the catastrophic blow that I expected every day. I may not have fulfilled my potential but I have certainly achieved more than I ever expected, more than I was told to expect. In spite of my temper, my addictions, my desire to take up where my murderous step-father left off I am alive!
It is only recently that I tentatively acknowledged that life must be lived.
For as long as I can remember I have imagined and reimagined my death. For long as I have flown in aeroplanes I have reveled in turbulence. As often as I have picked up strange, beautiful and dangerous men I have wished death come to me.
Shame has cast such a deep shadow over me that all I ever managed to do is struggle blindly down life’s treacherous path. Stumbling into people along the way who could see. Many of those people realizing that I was blind did not help without benefit to themselves. Many of those people, when I understood what monsters they were, were shocked when I ferociously bit their hand off up to the elbow.
Perhaps this is why I stayed close to my family home, a family that did not want me. Even to this day I hanker after Whitstable. There are still elderly parents of friends my age who remember the small boy who escaped his home whenever he could and seek refuge in theirs.
During the next month I am going to write an abridged memoir. We know the beginning and most of you know where I am right now. So, as I make my way East through New York and Paris back to my old hometown of Whitstable I will let you know what I remember, what I care to remember from the last 50 years.
Today, the little dog is on my bed waiting to walk through the Californian sun to our local coffee shop. There are people there who know me from the television. People who might wave a tentative hello. Tonight I may hear from the man I love and tell him so without shame or expectation. It’s not much to ask is it? To be loved, to love. To be loved..to love?