Archives for posts with tag: Los Angeles

I always want to start my blog with the title.  Today I have none.  Today has been shit.  God, I’ve been fretting.  Fretting about Gaza, Israel, Ferguson, bad white cops, arming black people, traveling, Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’ve been fretting about one beautiful man.

The Alcoholics Anonymous shit is the usual shit.  The same characters, the same stories, the same mental illness.   I sit in those rooms wondering why I’m there, if I belong to a cult?  Yet,  I never think about drinking.  I mean, I’m not looking for an excuse to drink.   That’s the very last thing I want to do.

Palm Trees Los Angeles

You see, it was one of those weeks when I heard that someone in AA killed themselves.  Someone I heard speak, someone I had spoken to.  Someone I had lunch with, someone I had hope for.  Then he blew his brains out.  No obituary, no news report.  Just another recovering alcoholic who couldn’t take it any more.  I thought about how we collectively accept the plaudits for keeping each other sober yet when a man kills himself it was his problem.  His solution.  Never our responsibility.   He had a six-year-old son.  He dressed very well.  Now he’s dead.

Since getting sober 18 years ago I have known many, many men and not so many women to kill themselves in the rooms of AA/NA.   It is never easy.   Yet, I have become desensitized from these terrible deaths and I hate myself for it.  I’m sorry.  I really am.

This week, I ate a great deal at Gjelina in Venice and these men graciously served me.

Benoit being Read to by Armistead Maupin

Last week I drove to San Francisco to see my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis read excerpts from his book Travels With Casey. After the reading we had dinner with Armistead Maupin and his charming boyfriend.  I told Armistead that I hadn’t read his famous book Tales of the City until I got to The Men’s County Jail.  I found a dog eared copy there. It was a first edition.

That night we stayed in an odd 50’s hotel/ex-motel off of trendy Chestnut Street.  The following day we drove to Napa and had lunch with Gene.  After lunch we wandered the giant redwoods in Muir Woods.  On the way back to San Francisco we watched people flying kites on Stinson Beach.

On my way home to Los Angeles I met up with my Whitstable friend Ben Clayton in Berkeley, we ate brunch then  sauntered all over the UC Berkeley campus.  We talked a great deal about home.  We talked about our mothers.

 

Back in Malibu I picked a huge bunch of bananas from the banana trees at the end of the garden, I harvested (and continue to) an abundance of figs and lemons.   I sold the bananas to my friend Nicolle the pie lady at Gjelina who bruleed them.

 

Yesterday, I went to the Norco Rodeo with Stuart Sandford.  Norco is an hour from Los Angeles.  It was the whitest event I have ever been to.  White people everywhere eating nachos and swilling beer.   The men wore cowboy hats.  The women screamed when the obedient bulls tossed their riders into the sand.

 

We wondered if there were other gays there.  The nearest gay on-line was 3 miles away.  I took pictures of cowboys.  I ate tri-tip sandwiches.  I was looking for bucking bronco Cody Gaines who I met the day before on Malibu beach.   Cody lives in Texas.  Cody loves Jesus.

Cody Gaines

Mostly I have been amusing myself in the garden.  I have been sweeping paths and mending lights and restoring order.  The dogs have been lazing all over the house during the day, finding patches of sunlight to flop into.  At night they spend too much time protecting me from deer and raccoons.  Go to sleep!

 

Michael came to visit from NYC.  He was sweet and charming.  I met the guy with a beard… and here’s a better picture of Stuart.  Stuart Sandford is a very fine artist.  He lives and works at the Tom of Finland House in Echo Park.  My friend Martin arrived from Provincetown.  He’s staying for a few days.

 

All in all it hasn’t been a bad month.  It’s just these past few hours.  I needed to sit down and write a gratitude list… and this is it.  You see, I woke up today and I’m not a hounded black teen on the streets of any city USA.  I’m not a hounded Palestinian in the ever shrinking patch of land they call home.  I’m not a fatherless 6 year old… and lastly, I didn’t blow my brains out this week because I couldn’t take it any more… and for that I must be grateful.

Latex Bondage Wear waiting to be washed at The Tom of Finland House

Latex bondage wear ready to be washed from the dungeon at The Tom of Finland House, Echo Park.

Penny Arcade

Gay men in Los Angeles told researchers that they believed a culture that focuses on one-night stands and partying, that emphasizes perfect bodies and good looks, that prizes material possessions, that sees gay men tearing each other down as they compete for attention and that pressures gay men to fit in or conform is bound to create unhappiness, stress and unhealthy behaviors.

The word on the street in gay resort/haven Provincetown?  The straights are coming, they are coming thick and fast, young affluent heterosexuals buying property, renting holiday apartments and day tripping.  I was reassured by a cool, 31-year-old, straight person yesterday that this was the heterosexual ‘tipping point’.  Of course (if true) the reasons are obvious.  The older more affluent crowd of gay men and lesbians who bought affordable homes here twenty years ago are simply not that interesting to a less ghettoized younger gay crowd who go to Fire Island or Mykonos where a good gay thumping time is assured, where they can find an affordable share for the summer… anyway, the drag is so much better the closer you get to NYC.

Provincetown Garden

Young straight men and women who used to actively avoid hanging in gay ghettos… or felt uncomfortable no longer have any reservation.  This, my dears is one of the more unexpected changes that comes with ‘integration’.  Our gay communities, gay clubs and gay bars will dilute as we become more heteronormative.

How do the gays feel about straight people buying into the gay and lesbian ghetto dream?  I hear grumblings from some, but what can they say?  We can’t restrict straight people from joining the party?  Before the great shift, the Obama ‘evolution’, the Blair/Mandleson equality bill I would regularly challenge straight people who came to our clubs and bars, wondering why they were there… if they understood why gays and lesbians created safe spaces for themselves… now apparently we all live in a safe space… together.

If the war is won do we abandon the notion of a safe space, a gay bar, an LGBTQ community? Is that what we were fighting for?  As it turns out, gay men are still living shameful and secretive lives… safely hidden from prying eyes.  No longer behind the blacked out windows of the gay bar but on the internet where we can fully reinvent ourselves as muscle-bound avatars, 10 years younger than we really are.

The gay bar, meanwhile… becomes a themed experience for enlightened neo-liberal heterosexuals.  After all, gay men don’t need to meet one another in real life when we can meet on-line, reducing our interaction before a sexual encounter to the barest possible exchange of relevant facts.  Hung? Looking? Party?

The same heterosexual land grab is happening in the Fire Island Pines gay community.  Straight people are buying and renting homes at a faster rate than gay people. Of course… the truth is, we never really owned the lions share of Fire Island Pines… it was always owned by straight people.  Three heterosexual families who control The Pines real estate market.

In San Francisco‘s iconic gay area The Castro we are facing extinction in our natural habitat, bought out/selling out to silicone valley billions.  What are we left with?  Our sad LGBT ‘pride’ parade: a blinded corporate-sponsored dinosaur serving only the breweries and distilleries, no longer a political defiance… no longer worth a pilgrimage by those newly out yearning to see gays en masse… the gay parade and all it seeks to celebrate merely adds to our woes, confirming the worst about who we have become.

Little Dog

How long will it take for Provincetown to lose its unique identity and become just another Cape Cod town? The Pines,  just another beach community on Fire Island?  How long will it take for our history to be lost, forgotten or ignored by apathetic gay white men who have no interest in those who came before?  The heroes who fought decades of violent oppression, the ‘gay plague’, who demanded equality… how long will it be until their names are erased?

Do you know who they are?  Harvey Milk… and…

The politics of invisibility.

As the quality of our lives collectively ‘improves’, as we ‘integrate’ due to the passing of progressive equality laws why are we still facing a crisis?  Why do gay men continue to struggle with life-threatening health problems at alarmingly high rates compared to straight men — alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Gay and bisexual men are still most impacted by HIV/AIDS and syphilis, they suffer higher rates of substance abuse, they are more likely to drink heavily later into life, and they are more likely to commit suicide and suffer major depression and anxiety and bipolar disorders.

Gay men with mental health problems are more likely to use illegal drugs and commit suicide. Or regularly using drugs and alcohol can lead to risky sexual behavior, which increases the likelihood of getting infected by an STD.

Our health problems, in other words, are feeding into each other, we’re literally killing ourselves through suicide, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS at higher rates than straight men.  Let’s say that again: We are killing ourselves at higher rates than straight men through suicide, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.

Some gays are quick to point to the stresses of living as a gay man in an overwhelmingly straight world — one that passes anti-gay laws and constantly spews homophobic rhetoric — as a reason for mental health and substance abuse problems. With that argument, they are coming very close to saying that we are powerless victims who have little control over our own lives and choices, that homophobes have more power over us.

That’s a ridiculous notion — lethal and self-defeating.

Since homophobia still exists and is not going away any time soon, the victim theory, if embraced, dooms us to a life of external, homophobic stressors that forces us to drink too much, commit suicide too frequently and get depressed too often.

The quote is from the LA Weekly.  You can read it HERE.

 

Bryan Singer

Most of you know there is little love lost between me and gay Hollywood… the gay establishment, our unelected leaders, our taste makers and moral guides… or lack of them.   From Chad Griffin (who now claims to be the Rosa Parks of marriage equality) at the HRC to the bullying tactics of gay mafia org Glaad I have made my voice heard and paid the price.

During the last year I have had death threats and put up with the gay rumor mill distorting facts about me.   So, today, old acquaintance Bryan Singer finds himself in my world… the shadowy world of innuendo, accusations, smears, allegations and (unlike me) the hard to remove stains of rape and pedophilia.

The gays are springing to his defense.  The boy was 17.  Old enough to know better.  Old enough to say no.  Well, as we all know, whether it is Jerry Sandusky or Bryan Singer power and prestige can be very alluring to a damaged soul and let’s face it… many young gays are very damaged.  It’s difficult to say no if you think saying yes will change… everything.

Dorian Gray was a damaged soul.  Just a boy.  Would he give in to love… or power and prestige?  We all know the answer.

Duncan. Unknown, Brandon Boyce, Bryan Singer Fire Island

I first met Bryan on Fire Island 20 years ago.  He stayed at our house with Brandon Boyce and some eager young twink.  Latterly I stayed with him in Hollywood, and we have kept friendly but distant ever since.  When I was arrested he (and his friends) delighted in my jail time* and made snide comments about me getting into trouble.  Their arrogance, like most sexually unmanageable people, was legion.

Bryan and I have discussed his boy obsessions and sex tourism. We have discussed his prescription drug addiction.  We have discussed his drinking problem.  We have discussed his point that it is useless to know anyone socially unless there is a sexual point.

Today Bryan finds himself at the center of a roiling  sex scandal.  It is of his own making.  Everyone one knew… but no one said a word.  Young boys on his arm, on his set, at dinner with equally vile boy obsessed Hollywood grandees… the lamentable Adam Press, the teen dating Dustin Lance Black.

If you want to get on in Hollywood straight or gay… you better learn how to please the directors and producers you meet at drug fueled, drink sodden gay parties.

Of course, when someone cries foul, the gays think it is the victims ‘fault’.  They have played victim for so long.

Somebody suggested to me this morning that it was ‘homophobic’ of those accusing Bryan of rape.  No, it’s not homophobic to accuse someone of rape, it’s homophobic to forcibly sodomise someone.

Bryan’s close friends include Guy Shalem (Jane Lynch’s red carpet plus one), Transformers Producer Tom DeSanto and Teen Wolf director Toby Wilkins.  Finding themselves on private jets, at Elton John’s Oscar party and vast Hollywood mansions overlooking Los Angeles.  They are surrounded by a stable of beautiful young boys.  They are delighted to be included.  It’s always so much fun.  Bryan can make anything happen.  He has so many cool toys.

Bryan films a group of eastern european ‘barely legal’ porn performers ejaculating over him… then shows the video to who ever wants to see.   Many do.   Bryan audaciously dresses as a catholic priest for Halloween, amusing his friends with his ‘ironic’ choice of costume.  Bryan loses his Ferrari in The Beverly Center parking lot and has a panic attack.  He drives with the parking attendant in a golf buggy until he locates the car.

Amy Berg, the Oscar nominated documentary maker has been researching predators like Bryan for the past two years.  Her explosive documentary about sexual misconduct in Hollywood will blow the lid off  those who perpetrate these heinous sex crimes and those in power (sex therapists, law enforcement, prosecutors and the judiciary) who collude with wealthy pedophiles and rapists to keep their sex crimes secret.

This story is no longer just one lone victim brave enough to tell the truth about Bryan Singer.

I like Bryan Singer and rather than sneer at him (as he did me) I am hopeful that someone is keeping a seat warm for him at a Sex Addict meeting where he will find solace and understanding from many other ‘important’ Hollywood men who have fallen from grace whilst arrogantly thinking they could get away with what ever they pleased, when ever they wanted, regardless of price or consequences.

As we shall see.  There are always consequences.  Even for Bryan Singer… and his ilk.

From an earlier blog:

So, this beautiful teenager arrives at a party I’m at last week in the Hollywood Hills.   Fresh off the boat.  He’s beautiful.  He has a fresh, open face…his pale skin is flawless.

Boy

He hadn’t been in Hollywood for longer than a month but already he’s on the arm (unwittingly) of a so called LA ‘producer‘ who, it seems, has immediately pimped the boy out to the head of programming for a popular music network.  The no name, no hope LA producer pimping the boy out… so that he might curry favor with the TV grandee.  Just to be clear… the same LA producer hires young boys to ‘read scripts’ so he has access to their young boy world.

The whores and the pimps and the fairies…

The network head ain’t no beauty. He looks like Dobby from Harry Potter.

So the good looking kid arrives and he tells me that he’s working in NYC with an equally scummy NYC ‘producer’ who always has some starstruck kid on his arm.  The NYC producer looks like he has downs syndrome, he looks like his teeth are too big for his fat, useless head. He looks like he’s wearing a wig but the fringe ain’t deep enough to cover the alcohol bloat, the never was visage.  He was a bullied kid at the expensive school his mother sent him to… signed him up the moment she heard the sperm had hit the egg.

Both of these producers have one thing in common: they have loads of inherited money and never produced anything.

David

They might have their names attached to invisible projects, they might have inveigled their way into the production meeting of some meaningless movie, thrown a little cash behind an artless indi. But, they ain’t never winning no awards, they ain’t never been invited to no Sundance, Berlin or Cannes.  They’ll go anyway, keeping their mouths shut to those who matter and lying to those who don’t.

Should I tell you who they are?

No.

So I’m keeping my head down. I’m not saying a word. I’m instagramming the bar man, I’m already elsewhere…waiting for something real to happen.   Dobby (the music TV network head) shows the man I’m standing with his very smart, smart phone. He’s so excited. There are hi def pictures and video of the same wide eyed teenager at Dobby’s huge house wearing just…a towel.   Yes. The kid is wearing a towel around his waist, his perfectly sculpted body on full view and standing beside him is another, equally cut young teen.

Two young boys.

The inference? You don’t need me to explain this to you do you?

So I take this kid to one side and I ask him if he’s gay? He’s not. I ask him what he thinks of the network head showing everybody his new naked body to anyone the network head needs to impress.

‘They are good guys.’ he reassures me.

No, I say…they are anything but good guys.

You know, all he wants (this kid) is a job, a chance, an opportunity, the dream of celebrity…freedom. He can almost taste it. He knows that these men make all the difference.

His desire for a better life is palpable.  He’ll drink the drinks. Undress, get into the hot tub.

You know, I love beauty. I love it. Look, I’m surrounded with beauty.  My ex-friend might say, oh your just jealous. You’re just jaded because you want what they’ve got,  Believe me, I do just fine. But on terms that do not compromise my integrity.

Would I show random strangers the body of some boy who stands feet from me? Knowing that those artless, semi pornographic images suggest that we are more than just…innocent friends?  The network head winks, smiling…dribbling over the screen on the smart phone.  Dobby’s nose is dripping from undisclosed snorting.

He says, without saying anything: That teen boy…the boy with the perfect abs. He’ll do anything..because he thinks I’m going to get him a role, find him an agent…make him the next teen sensation. LOL.

LAUGHING OUT LOUD!

He lets seasoned Hollywood gays believe that this boy will do just about anything to get on.  Dobby wants you to believe he fucked the boy. Dobby is powerful. Dobby can get whatever he wants. Even the virgin ass of a young boy fresh off the boat. Particularly… the young ass of the boy standing feet away from us, oblivious that he is now the victim of rank objectification and intrigue.

Proud to be gay? Not today.

So I wrote a short email to the NYC ‘producer’ guy. I told him what was going on with his protege. He wrote back immediately…he thought it was hilarious. I reminded the fat, vodka marinated, creep…that the boy…has parents.

P.S.

* For those of you who want to know why I was in jail and why I am currently suing LA County:  my civil rights lawsuit arises from the fact that I was unlawfully held in the Los Angeles County jail for 85 days, in violation of my constitutional right to post bail. (I was a pretrial detainee and eligible to post bail yet the jail did not allow me to post bail). I was denied the opportunity to post bail because U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued an immigration hold (sometimes referred to as an “ICE hold”). An immigration hold is a request from ICE to hold a detainee so that ICE can look into their immigration status; it doesn’t mean the person has violated immigration laws or even that ICE has probable cause to believe they’ve violated immigration laws. At the time of my arrest, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department routinely denied bail to pretrial detainees with immigration holds, which is illegal under California and federal constitutional standards. Since the filing of my lawsuit, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department discontinued this practice and now permits pretrial detainees with ICE holds to post bail.

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Hannah

Marc Jacobs Hat

I bought a huge green fur hat from Marc Jacobs.  It’s very warm, very green and attracts many, many comments.

The people who comment fall into three distinct groups.

1.  The people who comment most are African-American men and women who approach me with huge smiles and open hearts and say wonderful things about the hat.

They tell me how happy it makes them.  They ask where they could get one.  They love the color. They hold me at the checkout at Trader Joe’s and ask if they can touch it.  Black school kids holler across the street.

2.  White woman tentatively tell me how much they like it, how warm they imagine it is.  They rarely look me in the eye and their diminished confidence allows them only the slightest… but genuine opinion.

3.  Gay men.  I sighed writing that.  Gay men.  I sighed again.

When gay white men (strangers) talk to me about my hat it is always with sneering disregard.   They go out of their way to say something catty and unpleasant.   They look at me witheringly, their comments infused with: who do you think you are wearing that absurd hat?   They dress compliments up in such a way that confuses the listener.

If the African-Americans who complement my hat had not done so I would have nothing to compare the responses of the gays.  I might think I was going crazy.  But I’m not.

We all know what a heartfelt compliment sounds like and the gays seem incapable of giving one… unless (of course) they want to get laid.

Here are more pictures of our brief stay in Malibu and our trip home.

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I felt both overwhelmed and liberated in 2013.  Simultaneously.

I spent the past few hours un-subscribing from 100 mailing lists from whom I receive emails begging for money.  All perfectly decent causes, gun control, black theatre, saving the ocean, climate control, Unicef, the world wildlife fund, democratic causes, mercy for animals, slow money…

I un-subscribed from cook shops, travel companies, furniture stores and fashion lines.  I spent a few moments each day erasing my name from the lists I added myself in the hope of being better informed, no more Gawker or Huffington Post or the Daily Beast.

It was an odd year.  It was unusually diverse.  I continued writing my film tho I stopped talking about it.  I met thieving producers and film industry liars.  I spent time with weed smoking Susan Sarandon in the back of her ping-pong club.  

Away from the film I travelled to Martha’s Vineyard, to Des Moines and over the Rocky Mountains.   I travelled by car all over America.  Los Angeles to New York and back again… three times.  I was constantly surprised by American kindness whenever I found it.  

I fell in and out of love with AA.  In and out of love with the gays tho… mostly out of love.

We are presently finalizing our divorce.

During the past months I began a strange adventure with a young man who I tentatively call my boy friend.  I began to dream again… of better things… even though I am still cautious and burned.  Erring toward single at all times.

I wrote a great deal but never published a word of it.

I wrote indignant things like this…

I am queer.  They are gay.  They are white and affluent.  They want to get married and join the army.  They want to assimilate.  That’s what they say.

When you question them… when you ask them what assimilation looks like… they still want to keep gay pride, gay bars, gay apps, gay film festivals, gay morality.

They want the gay section in the bookshop, the ‘gay voice’ section in The Huffington Post.  They don’t really understand what assimilation looks like because most of them are too comfy not assimilating.

He said, “This is all about your internalized homophobia.” I smiled.  “It’s not internalized, it’s externalized.”

One can devote ones life to betrayal.  Betrayed by parents, family members, institutions, schools, by loved ones even the country of ones origin.  I have felt a smidgen from all of the above.  Yet, I forgave my family, my school, the class system, my beloved country.

Because I wanted to be free.

I huffed and puffed about the NSA, I applauded Glen Greenwald and Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowdon.  I stopped worrying about who could read whatever I was writing privately or which ever websites I was wacking to because there is nothing private.  Not any more.

I met literary heroes on Fire Island like Andy Tobias and had breakfast with John Walters, I spent sultry nights on Cape Cod.  I started Anger Management classes and enjoy them tremendously.

My counsellor asks things like, “Where in your body to you feel the anger first?”

I began to identify the genesis of my anger and feelings of uncomfortability.  It usually starts with a demand for money from a worthy cause.  A picture or video of a screaming rabbit as it is having it’s fur pulled off or a pile of euthanized dogs waiting to be incinerated.

It was the hopelessness that infuriated me, the cruelty, the stupidity, the hypocrisy.

I came to conclusions in 2013.  That I do not, have never had, am not interested in… A CAREER!   Careers, I realized, are… for other people.  For those who may be interested in a legacy.  I stopped calling myself a film maker and started telling people, if they asked, that I do… nothing.

I understood that wherever I found myself both good or bad I was meant to be.  It was all for a reason.  A reason that would one day be revealed to me.  That my life was a series of choreographed moments. The life of a narcissist.  That the cameras I learned to love whilst in the reality show had always been there and had never gone away.

In 2013 I never gave up.  I waited patiently.  I didn’t worry about the future nor was I enslaved to the past.  For this I was grateful.

Occasionally I hankered to go home but knew that after a few days in Whitstable I would find my life shrinking and darkening.  I did not go home.  Though, I spoke more to my Mother this year and was curious about my nieces and nephews.

Finally the JB entanglement came to an end one nondescript day in November.  I wanted to write to him and make amends for the mess I had caused.

But I wrote this instead… it was never sent.

An apology is owed.

I was wrong to lie to you.  I was wrong to lose my temper.  I was wrong to fight you.  I was wrong to have asked for money to be paid when you owed me nothing.  I was wrong to have blamed you for any part of our unhealthy association.  The blame must fall squarely at my feet for everything that went wrong.   The moment you came out I should have politely walked way… I did not.   I was advised by everyone I knew and cared about… to walk away from you but chose to ignore their good suggestion.   I should have thanked you and walked away.  I regret very much that I did not.  I am extremely remorseful.  Due to my weakness of character I initiated a drama that harmed you and caused distress to your family.  I should have walked away.  The moment you told me you were gay.   I know that you are happy now.   I know that your happiness will continue.

It took two years to own up.

2013.  Un-subscribing to websites, making amends, keeping my side of the street clean, owning up, anger management.

Let’s see what 2014 will bring.

As the years pass by, unrelenting, amazing, fulfilling, desperate, happy, sad.

Even though I have filled my homes with art and furniture and friends and the lingering smells of delicious feasts… even though I have made films and plays and paintings…. all I have ever wanted, really craved… was peace of mind.

I’m getting there.  Slowly.  A Happy and Prosperous New Year everyone.

Kay Saatchi and Tim Willis

If a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended.  It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.

― Andrea DworkinRight Wing Women

I never met Nigella Lawson, not yet.

She is still relevant.  She is the battered wife.  The super woman who drowned her sorrows in cocaine as her former husband lay dying of cancer and her ex husband allegedly emotionally brutalized her.

I only meet women like Nigella when they become irrelevant.

In my distant social orbit, light years from the warming sun of acceptability, circle the flotsam and jetsam of international society.  Isolated by ignominy, the ex wives of current politicians, media titans and corporate mega moguls float in and out of the rooms of AA, expensive treatment centers in the Arizona desert, The San Fernando Valley and Malibu.

Aping the lives they once had with limitless funds, they buy a few stems of bruised tuba rose* from the same florist who once filled their many mansions with exotic blooms.  Sumptuous bouquets placed on valuable escritoire, on silvered night stands, on grand dining tables.

As she leaves, she stands briefly on the threshold, looking down at her guilty feet and apologizes for the frugal fist of sweet smelling blooms.  The florist looks on piteously knowing that her younger, more glamorous successor can spend whatever she pleases.

The lonely ex-wife arranges a slim vase in her well-appointed but humble apartment in Pimlico moments from where she and her spouse once lived on Eaton Square.

These cast off ex-wives, these frosty women, their faces wet with angry tears, looking to half-baked sober life coaches in first-rate treatment centers to recalibrate their lives. Drinking away their sorrows, dumped by men whose power they loved and whose money they spent.    Yoga, sobriety, macrobiotics, spending, using, crying… nothing seems to work because all these women want is the sweet taste of revenge.

This week, one very lucky ex-wife gets her dues. She waited patiently on the sidelines of her ex-husband’s life to witness the crushing downfall of her Nemesis.  Today, American born, Kay Saatchi is not only back in Charles’s life but has had the delicious pleasure of helping dispense the woman who caused Kay pain beyond description: Nigella Lawson.

Kay is delightful.  I’ve met her on numerous occasions in Los Angeles.  Of course she’s delightful!   A man like Charles Saatchi wouldn’t marry an idiot.  Kay is everything a powerful man would want, she is elegant, super smart, she has exquisite taste.  Kay, nowadays, is sober.  Yet, when Kay was drinking, she had an unpleasant habit of blacking out and talking gibberish about Charles.  She couldn’t and wouldn’t stop.  Even her best friend wouldn’t know how to stem the tirade.  Her life, it seemed, could only be nothing… without Charles.

She would disintegrate into a seething mess of Charles Saatchi resentment.

The only hook Kay had in her ex as she watched in increasing horror as Nigella used Charles as a spring-board into her own rock solid career as international domestic goddess… was her/their daughter Phoebe who Kay moaned constantly was ignored by her father.  When I asked Phoebe if her father ignored her over Christmas dinner a few years ago… she denied it, looked sadly at her drunk mother and told me that the only problem parent… was Kay.

Now, things are different.  Kay is sober (unlike Nigella) and Kay’s undying love and loyalty for her ex husband has been rewarded by his begging Kay to help oust Nigella.  Kay will never be Mrs Charles Saatchi ever again but she has made herself indispensable to him during his time of need, once again firmly cementing herself back into his life.

Kay Saatchi

It is hard to explain to ordinary people the intoxicating effect of unlimited cash, how women like Kay and Nigella and now Trinny Woodall would willingly get involved with brooding Charles Saatchi. A man who throttled his ex wife in public.  A man so ruthless he recruits his vulnerable ex-wife to destroy his current wife.

Do yourself a favor and read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women: the politics of domesticated females.  Money and power are everything to some women.  It defies logic and rationale. The patriarch, the provider, the batterer… do what ever you will to me and for me… I am yours forever.

The harsh glare of media scrutiny is lighting up every dark corner of Charles Saatchi’s famously private life during the trial of his former employees, The Grillo Sisters.  It must be a painful time for secretive Charles.  During the trial there was constant mention of the grown women (who were no more that indentured servants) as ‘family’ yet, as Deborah Orr points out in the only pro Grillo piece on offer this week…

“You cannot insist that someone is in your family, then cry fraud when they behave as if they are.”

The rich are different.  They like to live beyond scrutiny, they operate without care for consequence.  Partially, this week, on a micro and macro level justice was done.  For servants like the Grillo sisters and for ex wives who crave revenge… like Kay Saatchi.

* Princess Diana‘s favorite flower.

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1.

Another wholly preventable wild-fire in the mountains.

If only, like the Mexicans, the residents of the Santa Monica Mountains could bear the idea of a yearly brush burn.

Then, every decade, they wouldn’t stand miserably by their pyre lamenting the loss of personal items on the early evening news.

2.

So.  I’m writing my last will and testament.  And, after much prayer/thought, I’ve decided to leave everything to my former school Monkton Wyld.

I am also discussing making a charitable donation to Monkton which is now a residential education center.

The Grade II listed neo-Gothic building is set amongst an idyllic eleven acres of lawns, gardens and meadows.

Designed by Richard Cromwell Carpenter, the rectory was built in 1848.  It is in need of help.  Tracery needs restoring, energy efficient windows need installed and a large bay window at the front of the house needs underpinning.

As a Centre for Sustainable Education, Monkton Wyld hosts a range of courses, conferences and gatherings for adults, families and children.

From bee-keeping to scything to yoga, Monkton’s programme promotes low-impact, earth-centred skills for changing modern life.

Meals are prepared in the house kitchen using fresh organic ingredients from the Court’s own Victorian walled garden, orchards and farm.

The Court is managed by a resident volunteer staff with the help of volunteers and overseen by a board of trustees.

They work to develop and promote a lifestyle based on mutual respect for each other and for the wider community and environment.

Sounds perfect doesn’t it?

I want my ashes scattered there.

Have you written a will?  How many single people do?  It is imperative.

I’ve been thinking for many years what to do with any money I might have when I die and this, I believe, is the best solution.  Helping with the fabric of this building may secure its future for decades to come.

Tyler

Alex

Peter

January NYC

1.

The definite seasons on the east coast. The passing days, changing. Slowly.

Each day has a brand new identity. New light. Color.

The bland, endless Los Angeles summer has finally come to an end. After 8 long years. I am heading home.

I wear my long, grey cashmere coat (Hermes) and fur hat (Dior).

I pull on my knee-length, woolen socks and my heavy boots.

I am going to therapy… daily. I am finally addressing the issues I have been ignoring this past year. You know, those pesky medical issues.

Strangely, without warning… even though we share the same streets. I never see him. Nor do I wish to conjure him, manifest him, make him appear… I had lunch with one of his co-workers the other day, a youngster (we met at an AA meeting) who wanted his job.

It was funny being at the same table as someone who works in close proximity to him. Their opinion.

They knew the story. An urban myth that they delighted in fact checking.

Oh well.

Of course there’s loads going on (Film/House/Social) but somehow I don’t have the energy to write it.

I take pictures and let that suffice.

2.

I found a picture of Joe. He’s obsessively going to the gym. A man mountain. In his late 60’s now.

I scarcely ever think about him. Isn’t that odd? To have no thoughts about someone who was once the center of your world.

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1.

Nope.  Not any more.

I AM NOT GAY.  I am OUT.

Unambiguous?

My New Years resolution: don’t call me gay.

I am The Other.  I am simply… Out.

I have resigned my gay membership.  I renounce the word GAY.

The Other is different from you.  He is neither superior nor inferior.

He is not alone.  He is out.

2.

Are you kidding?  I still like sex with men… but I’m not interested in being gay.   Do you understand what I’m saying… gays?  Yes you.  I’m talking to you.   I’M TALKING TO YOU!  Yes you, the gay in the bar, on the street, editing his Grindr profile.

Let’s face it.  This separation will work out just fine for both of us.

I loathe you and you hate me.

I know, amongst other things, what galls you… you (particularly) don’t like when men in their fifties own up to having a rich and varied sexuality:   I’ve been called a ‘dirty old man’ by more gays than I ever have by straights for wanting or having beautiful younger men in my bed.  The gays write it anonymously.  They post it all over the place, whenever they can.  As If I should be ashamed?

You, you who have cornered the market in nihilism, immorality, homogeneousness, bitchery, selfishness, self-aggrandizement, self-obsession… in fact anything with the self prefix… apart from self-awareness.

I am peeling off the parade.  I am letting the party wend its way elsewhere.

2. (a)

They told me at Triangle House in LA when we were making our documentary about older gay people:  they say that old gay people end up going back into the closet because… it can get ugly… it can get dangerous.   They say that gay men are more likely to end up homeless than in any other demographic… because they have no community.

You gays are the very worst at hating yourselves.  But you reserve more venom for the elderly homosexual than any other group.  It is a sickening idea to many young gays, that we (the elderly) exist.  Some young gay people believe that past 50 our penises shrink appropriately into our bodies.  Retract.  In old age we become like wrinkly Ken dolls with smooth, pink groins.

No longer a threat to anyone.

I thought that when I became old… I would start wearing women’s clothes.

Where do young gay men learn how to be dignified old gay men?  I learned from older men in AA how to be an older man.   The respect that AA old timers get, applauded for their contribution to the community of AA stands in stark contract to the respect that older gay people don’t get from younger gay people.  Unless, of course, they are famous… or comical freaks… or rich enough to buy the boys they used to get for free.

Young gay people don’t want to be reminded that the party comes to an end.

2 (b)

So, today…

I resign my membership.  I am no longer a true believer.  I’m handing back my awards, my medals, my history, my pride.

It’s yours not mine.  Take it.

I renounce: gay pride, gay film festivals, gay beaches, gay basketball, gay bars, the gay ghetto, the gay plague, gay marriage, gaybies, gaydar.com, gays in the military, gay cruises, cottaging, felching, gay news, gay voice, gay face, the gay sub section in the book/video store/Huffington Post.

So help me God!

I’m praying the gay away!

The terms of this divorce:

You can keep it all.  The gay plays I made, the gay films I directed, the gay art I painted/etched/sculpted.

Take everything I ever made in your honor.

If you don’t want it?  Burn it.

2 (c)

When I offered our award-winning film catalogue of gay films to The Legacy Project (the gay and lesbian film preservation project) based out of UCLA… the gays turned it down.  Even though AKA  had won the LA Outfest audience award and opened (and closed) many gay film festivals all over the world with all of my films.

The Legacy Project said no to the free gift.  They wanted me to disappear.  They don’t want any evidence that I existed.  As a man or an artist.

“He’s trouble.”  “He’s angry.”  “He’s a parasite.”

Gays!  Look at what you’ve become!  Examine, for just one goddamned gay second…. the mediocrity!  Your righteous indignation! Your mock elegance!

Being with you is like drowning in cold tea.

3.

I don’t drink or take drugs.  Tom blew weed into my face.   He put vodka into my virgin mary.  That’s how the gays bully one another.   Try wearing something unusual when your companions  just want to be invisible.

“Who does he think he is?”

Their artificially deepened voices.  The plaid shirt, the super hero tee.  The cloak of invisibility.

INVISIBLE.

Tom asked incredulously, “What are you wearing?”  A man who wears nothing but ugly jeans, ill-fitting t-shirts.

Tom has an ‘opinion’ about individuality:  He doesn’t believe in it.  These gays are terrified of being seen.  Gripped by the politics of invisibility.   At least that grotesque, lying freak I used to date… he and his boy friend have some sartorial audacity.

Even if it is TOTALLY misguided.

Who are these gays?  These invisigays?

Like Tom, they may appear normal.

4.

How can a gay man expect to age with dignity when nobody gay wants to age at all?

I saw it in LA… my destiny. If I chose to take it.   At first, Adam looked just like any other confident gay man claiming to be 48.  His gay parties are the talk of the town.  Richer than most of his friends, though not very well connected … not to the real gay power in LA.

I mean, David Geffen wouldn’t be seen dead at this piss elegant, graceless house in the Hollywood Hills.

Adam invented the heart valve.  At one of his parties (to his chagrin) I photographed every single one of his guests.  A snap shot of LA gay life.

He has never been elegant, he has never been a great beauty.  He will never be tall.  He is, however, manicured, botoxed, his teeth reinvented, his flawless skin, his demeanor… (that only great wealth lends you).

It was at that last raucous party I attended (as a plus one) I saw him upset (rattled)… why?

He looked like an old, vulnerable man.

“What happened?”  I asked the gays.

They told me imperiously (as if it were obvious) that the young, chiseled boy he imported from NYC just wanted him for his money.   Adam looked… beaten.  Crest fallen.  His frail hands shook, the delicate skin around his eyes failing.

The gays stood around helplessly as their host fell apart.  They stared into the plastic cups of vodka.  They played with their nipples.  The pimps and the whores waited silently by the sodden beer pong.  He turned the music off.  Finally, he threw everyone out.

They lined up on the steep drive.  A hideous parade of grotesquely young boys, graded online or in public bars for their sexual prowess, their social fallibility, their youth.

The man who invented the heart valve, it seems, suffered from a broken heart.

5.

Take the gay man who gave up his 160k surrogate child for adoption because she had a small birth defect on one of her legs.

Yes, you heard me.

When we interviewed the doctor who makes hundreds and thousands of gay dollars from the gayby industry… he told us that the gays want perfection.  Nothing less will do.

Take it all… this gay culture.  This gay community.  Take it.

Take the video of Bryan with 25 Bel Ami boys jacking off over him.  Moisturized with Czech sperm.

Or the man/boy with the huge cock who they pay to sleep with a hooker and unbeknownst to him… tape him.

This tribe of entitled, elitist gays clinging to gay marriage and their smart phones.

6.

I had lunch today with a 30-year-old man/boy who just came out.  “Why did it take you so long, ” I ask, “To tell the truth?”  He said, “I didn’t… (he paused dramatically) …I mean I still don’t… I don’t want to be gay.”

“That’s ok,” I reassured him.  “You can describe yourself however you want.”

When, as frightened teens, blooming… prepubescent boys… infants… when we understand that we want to fall in love and fuck and suck and slide into another man… what choices do we have?   To describe ourselves?

Gay is the only way.   And if you don’t know what you are.  The gays will tell you exactly what you are.

The gays are so prescriptive.

He’s gay, they claim conspiratorially.  They claim anyone ‘hot’ is gay.  They all know someone who had sex with Tom Cruise or Hugh Jackman.  “He’s fucking his ‘assistant’.”   Oh Yes!  He’s had sex with a man… he’s gay.  He’s experimented… he’s gay.

Prescriptive.

6 (a)

Hollywood does not lend itself to morals.

CAA agent Kevin Huvane.  When you first meet him, he shakes your hand and pulls you toward him.   Trying to pull you off-balance.  The first time he met me… it worked (I was rocked) the second and third times I was prepared and we set to a gay tug of war, an argy bargy, him attempting to pull me and me attempting to pull him.

The fourth time I let him pull me onto him.  I crashed into him.  His tiny frame overwhelmed by 6′ 2″ me.  He landed in a heap beneath me.  “Oh sorry,” I said.  “You pulled me toward you.  I lost my balance.  Sorry… Kevin.”

He’ll put you on a ‘list’ they told me.  “I’m on so many lists.” I murmured.  “More lists than Cathy Griffin.”

7.

After claiming on the Dr. Drew show that I wanted to make healthy decisions about sex.  Somebody wrote to me or about me:  If Duncan Roy doesn’t like gay sex… he isn’t gay.  He wasn’t far from the truth.  At first, I was outraged by their attempts to isolate, malign and lambaste me.   They had tried for years.  Without success.  Every time they try… they fail.   This last time… the jail.  What the hell did they expect?  That I would buckle?

Those who throw rocks at me are seldom innocent of that which they accuse.

8.

The Gays, have become so… bourgeois.  Do you understand what that means?  Let me refresh your memory:

Marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity.

When I was young… gays like you knew their place.  They stayed in the closet.  I mean.  Coming out of the closet was brave!  Now anyone can do it and become a fucking hero.

9.

Gays… why are you killing yourselves?   You kill yourself because you can’t take a joke, because you can’t hold your liquor, because you can’t say no to crystal… because you don’t want to be gay.  I don’t remember young gay people killing themselves in the UK.

It gets better?

What gets better?

Better than death?

10.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled when any oppressed group gets a bit of equality… but what will the USA gays do with their equality?

I’ll tell you.  They will make it even harder for the rest of us to be different.   There is a hideous conformity to which these young gays feel they must adhere.   Gay life in the USA.  A blushing desire for ‘straight acting’ has become a tsunami of heternoramativity.   The foundation on which this miserable gay monolith now stands.

Who are you?

A greek god, perfectly muscled, forever young… dressed to be ignored, as bland a personality as he can effect.  He is Peter Pan, he is Hercules, his personality as glittering as the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Do you care about anything other than marriage equality?  No.  He eats what his parents eat.  He would vote republican if they could only find it in their neo con hearts to see that the gays are perfect conservatives.

So.  We are divorced.  I am no longer gay.  I’m OUT.  I’m out of here.  I’m out but I’m not gay.

Happy New Year!

Orange1.

The ACLU 2012 Bill of Rights awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.   I sat with my lawyers Barry Litt and Peter Eliasberg.

We ate stewed pear salad, grilled chicken and for dessert they served a strange, solid cake.

During the dinner they projected various videos describing the work they do for Homeless Veterans, Immigrants Rights, The LGBTQ community.

Of course the work I have been contributing to was just part of what was projected.  I was incredibly proud to be asked to stand in front of the 1000 or so people and introduce myself.

Will Ferrell, Jay Roach, Ermin Chemerinsky and Jane Lynch all spoke beautifully on behalf of the ACLU and their various causes and friends.

During the interval both Usher (the singer) and Scooter Braun (2 million twitter followers) took the time to introduce themselves and congratulate me.

Of course, as usual, not one gay person, including honoree Jane Lynch made themselves known to me.  The chasm that exists between me and the gay community in LA was even more evident than usual at this event.

Only last week the gay ‘director’ Guy Shalem texted me telling me that I deserved to be in jail… mocking the time that I had spent there, telling me that I only had friends I made in jail.

Guy Shalem is a gay Israeli fame-whore who lives in Los Angeles.  I met him at some grimy gay party in the Hollywood Hills last year and he subsequently invited me to Griffith Park for a walk the following day.

The conversation on the mountain centered around his visa problems, his inability to make relationships work, his celebrity friends and his desire for younger boys.

He complained that Outfest were sniffy about his short film.  When I saw it I understood why.  “Bruce Vilanch is in it.” He boasted, “They should love it.”

After all, he’s obsessed with celebrity… why shouldn’t Outfest?

So, it was mildly shocking to see Guy at the ACLU event. Wearing a bad suit and even worse shoes.

He had seen the video lauding the work we are all doing for those held on spurious ICE holds.

He heard the applause I received when they asked me to stand.

He heard Hector Villagra, head of the ACLU talking publicly about my personal bravery and commitment to the ACLU.

Guy is the perennial plus one to any gay celebrity.  Last night, yet again, he was with Jane Lynch.   He saw me, headed toward me and shook my hand.  Apparently forgetting the vile things he said last week.

I told him in no uncertain terms how and what I felt about him coming up to me.

He motioned to his ugly short gay friends lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and his ‘husband’ that this was worth watching.  They snickered, like vile bullying children, behind my back.

Let’s face it, Guy was only there for the free dinner and to stand with his famous friend and hope to ensnare other famous people with his puppy eyes and his maudlin sob stories.

The point of the evening was completely lost on him.

After I walked away from Guy other honorees came up to me and offered their hands.

One of them, an elderly female philanthropist  said, “We are like kindred spirits, you and me.”   I was so touched by her generosity.

So many kind people… not one of them gay.

2.

There was a moment in Beverly Hills recently when my body decided enough was enough.  7am, Beverly Drive, walking the dogs… I fainted.

The last thing I remember:  kicking a fresh pine cone.  The next thing?  I crashed to the ground painfully twisting my wrist under the weight of my body.

Dude, my fat red dog ran away as fast as he could.  The Little Dog stayed beside me as loyal as any dog can be.

I probably should have seen a doctor but, like my Grandmother and my Mother, a visit to the doctor is the last thing I do willingly.

It took an hour or so to persuade Dude to come back to me.  For the rest of the day he looked at me differently.  Like I was a  stranger.

The criminal matter is resolved.

Do you want to know what happened?

As part of a plea deal crafted by the DA and my lawyer, I plead NO CONTEST to a misdemeanor.  My sentence?  An 18 month gagging order and a 52 hour course in anger management.

There was no jail time, no fine.  It was all over in 20 minutes.

I smoked a cigarette outside the courtroom.  So did the DA.  She sat there in her black coat.  Sitting where she always sits.  Behind a wall.

Like a naughty school girl.  Smoking.

And I felt like it was going to be OK.  Because she was smoking too.

The judge said goodbye, the bailiff smiled.  The stenographer watched with interest.

I said goodbye to my lawyers and drove to Venice.

I had a lot of thinking to do.

On the way to Abbot KinneyRussian woman rear ended me.  We stopped abruptly on Wilshire Blvd.

Her name was Natalie Volk.  She was very apologetic.  Her husband got out of the car.  Natalie must have been 80 years old, he was older.  She touched the back of the car to make sure it wasn’t all a bad dream.

We exchanged personal details.  I’m not going to call her insurance people.  I know what they’ll do to her.  How punitive they can be.

That night I stopped at a gas station to buy gas and soda.  A huge black woman begged me to fill her gas tank.  The station wagon was packed with kids.  They were homeless.  They lived in that car.

I paid for their gas.  I made it seem like a terrible imposition.

Absurdly, I didn’t want other people to think I was being hijacked.

I went to buy myself a soda.  The woman at the checkout said, “That was really kind of you, they were homeless.”  She smiled and said,  “I’ll pay for your soda.”

I felt badly that I hadn’t been kinder to the homeless women.

On my way out of the service station I saw the most beautiful black man.  A solid wall of muscle.  He was walking up Lincoln Avenue.   I circled around until I found him.  I stopped the car and asked him what he was doing.

We had a chai latte at the Coffee Bean in Marina Del Rey.  He was from Chicago.  28 years old.  A personal trainer.  He had moved to LA a few months ago to help his brother.  He used to have dreadlocks.

I dropped him off at his apartment.  He invited me into his empty place.

At 5am I drove him to the gym where he worked.

Perhaps I should have given him more?  More than a chai latte?

As I drove home up the PCH.  Looking over the Pacific Ocean.  I thought about the previous day.

All that public money wasted.  All that time taken by highly paid District Attorneys,  Attorneys who could have been solving real crimes.

Money that could be spent repairing a local school. Money that could have been spent investigating white-collar crimes.

I was listening to John Martyn.  Solid Air.  Synthesized sea gulls.  A heartbeat.  My heart is still beating.

2.

Whatever may happen.  How ever bad it gets.  It is is up to you… yes you…  you can turn the worst things that happen into the most extraordinary adventure.

As anyone who has a creative bone in their body knows, to carve something artful out of wherever you find yourself… well.  It’s up to you.

So, it was no coincidence that, after I spoke to the reporter about The Trust Act, after my involved and specific conversation with the  lawyer, after I had recorded the Youtube video….

I sat down at my desk and rewrote the ending of my script.

What a killing crime this love can be.

This is for you Daddy.  You bad, bad man.

On Friday at 10am I will stand before you all again, on your televisions, in your newspapers, sparking up the internet.

Damning the authority.

On behalf of the brown people.

And after it is all over?  I am left on my own.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Because I have you.

I want to tell you about my neck.  The arthritis in my neck.  The arthritis that makes my arms numb.  My fingers tingle.

I am pleased not to share that with anyone.

The audience is singing along with the familiar tune.

It is 2am.  The dog is farting.  He’ll want to go out in the middle of the night.

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Published today in The Fix and responded to in The Advocate….

On October 1st I will be 16 years sober.

That means that I have not had a drink or a drug for 16 years.

I got sober and I didn’t relapse.

Gay men find it impossible to stay sober. They relapse again and again. The reason is clear: sex. Sexual addiction. I am not suggesting that all gay men who claim that they are alcoholic are in fact sex addicts but most gay men who can’t stay sober cite sex as the primary reason for relapse.

The simple fact of the matter is that most of the time, readily available anonymous hook ups quickly take the place of alcohol and drugs. When a sober man walks into the apartment of a super hot man doing crystal meth, sobriety is quickly flushed down the toilet along with HIV status.

I hear the story over and over again. Yet, as a community, we think we can get away with this risky behavior. It is an arrogant vanity.

Gay AA is a sad affair. I go periodically—mostly when I flee the super charged straight stag meetings because I find the straight, young newcomers too triggering.

While many straight sober people create a new life with AA that involves abandoning bars and other locations that might lead to relapse, gay sober men often want a sober version of the life they had before, complete with dance parties, bars and gogo boys. Any reason to have a party will do—including the absurd “three-month anniversary.” Or, as one galling invitation I received said, “Help Joe S. celebrate his one-month anniversary.”

Forgive me if I’m wrong but anniversaries are a yearly celebration.

Many of these sober parties are indistinguishable from their non sober equivalent: scantily clad men line up for espresso machines manned by disco short-wearing super hot straight guys more used to shaking cocktails than dispensing coffee to gay guys jacked up on caffeine. Unable to attend drug-crazed gay circuit parties, many gay sober men in LA flock to the sober circuit parties, such as Hot ‘n Dry, which is held annually in Palm Springs. These events are more likely to take someone out than any other reason I’ve ever heard in gay AA. Yearly, after this event, bedraggled gay men turn up at meetings, their eyes blazing from excessive drug use, taking newcomer chips. Should I be surprised? After all, the Hot n’ Dry ticket salesman had assured me that it would be “a sex fest from the moment you arrive at the Ace Hotel.”

The absurd idea that we can behave like we have always behaved as long as we have a deluded and lackluster understanding of the 12 steps just doesn’t work. Two years ago, after I appeared on Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew, I suggested that within the gay community, we might have a sexual unmanageability problem and was flooded with vitriol. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing what I believe to be serious issues.

The other serious issue within gay AA, in my opinion, is the resistance to God or a Higher Power. Most of my gay sponsees are understandably wary of God. The Christian God—the religious God—hasn’t made them feel very welcome in the past and has actually steeped them in shame and misery. To find that at the heart of AA is a God—even if it’s one of their own understanding—is anathema to most gay men. From what I can determine, most gay men just ignore the God part of the 12 steps—a relevant fact when the God part, in my estimation, accounts for roughly 90% of recovery. Working through the God options with gay men can be excruciating. Why bother looking for spiritual validation when they can get immediate validation on Grindr?

I used to love AA in LA; my love for it was actually the reason I first moved to LA. Now I hate it. It’s like a cult—sober grandees ruling over desperate men, the film industry providing the sickest of backdrops: men flaying themselves before agents and film executives in the hope of catching crumbs from the sober table I see this everywhere from the straight stag meetings, where misogyny and homophobia are expressed freely, to the sickest meetings of all: Gay AA in LA.

For all of these reasons and more, last November, after nearly 16 years, I stopped going to AA meetings. I was exhausted, disillusioned and utterly miserable. My last meeting in LA, at the iconic Log Cabin on Robertson in West Hollywood, was a gay meeting attended by 300 gay men.

I couldn’t walk away fast enough.

And yet yesterday, after a nine-month hiatus, I walked into a co-ed meeting in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was an hour early. I helped set out the chairs in ten neat rows and then I made the coffee. During the meeting, I shared my resentments and my fears and afterwards, a tiny woman called Dianne came up to me and let me have two full barrels of her tough love wisdom.

“It’s time for you to get fucking humble,” she said. “Come back and do fucking 90 in 90 like a newcomer.”

She was right. After months away from AA, I felt spiritually bankrupt. I stopped fighting and did what we are all meant to in the rooms of AA: I gave in.

Later that evening, the young man I helped set up the meeting took me for dinner. We talked recovery. This morning, we had sex. There I was, doing the walk of shame, doubled down. I had once again fucked a newcomer, counting days. It’s my story in AA. The younger men find my honesty irresistible and I can’t say no.

When I first got sober in London, the only gay men I met in AA were old queens at the Eton Square meeting. I met a couple of gay men in NA but within the deluded gay community, at that time, there was a mantra I heard over and over that “quitting was for losers.” Several years later, after celebrities like Boy George got sober, the rooms of AA and NA filled quickly with what we now recognize as gay recovery.

Back then I was accused, by my drinking friends, of being a contrarian—of rocking the boat and spoiling it for the others. As it happened, I was in the vanguard. I remember being hounded by drunken gay men who were outraged that I might, just by being sober, challenge their powerlessness and un-manageability. Of course those very same men now thank me for introducing them to the 12 steps.

After a few months away from AA, I am ready to start again but, as Dianne said, I’ve got to get humble, forget all those years of sobriety and do 90 meetings in 90 days. For the first time in a long time, I value my life. I should have left LA years ago but I’m a tenacious old queen; I didn’t want to let go. Just one more meeting might fix me. Just more line, one more Vodka Tonic and the crazy opera playing in my head might stop.

Walking back into AA in New York was a relief, a joy—just like it used to be. I want to be sober. The only problem getting in the way of that is me. But I know that if I’m going to be able to do it, I’ll have to learn how to say no to sex. As a single gay man, the consequences are dire if I don’t.

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A perfect Sunday lunch with old friends: the wonderful Merle Ginsberg and Orian Williams… producer of Anton Corbijn‘s Control at  The Chateau Marmont.

Followed by a walk up Abbot Kinny with Tristam Summers.

Cocksucking Fame Whore

Continuing my occasional ‘Fuck you’ series of LA essays I nominate the ‘award winning’ illustrator and elderly Greek queen Konstantine Kakanias as my latest Fuck You.

Konstantine threw a party last night.

Who put the kaka into Kakanias?

This guy has tried it all.

Artist, writer, illustrator, jewelry designer.

B’jesus with this much talent this homo should be a household name!

He’s tried so hard to be something but for poor old Koni, nothing seems to stick.

He’s  just a socialite with a great talent for persuading other socialites to take him seriously.

You know, I have known the rancid Konstantine for many, many years.

We first met with Manolis Mavrakis and Fred Hughes in New York in the early 80’s.  Fred loathed him.  Manolis laughed at him.

Koni painted my portrait then tried to have sex with me.  I declined.  He was smelly and creepy.

I left the portrait on the easel.

We periodically bump into each other all over the world.  Much to his chagrin and my infinite amusement.  It was he I referred to as Nona Summer’s vile Greek escort last week.

Konstantine attracts the WORST sort of people.  Nona, Peter Dunham, Justin Kern, Alex Hitz etc.

As his last incarnation he was calling himself an artist.   He had a laughably sophomoric show at The Light Box Gallery in LA before it closed down.

Kimberly Light (heiress) rues the day she ever let this cretin have his own show at her gallery.

He was the only artist who did not sell at the Angel Food project auction at CAA several years ago.

That’s how seriously the art elite take him.  Look for his work in the collections of important collectors and you will not find his name.

His work is absurd.

Yet, within that sub-world of dodgy socialites and rich kids looking for a purpose he has carved himself a ‘career’.   Some how he persuaded Swarovski to manufacture his designs.

Silly rings, “Inspired by Byzantine royal jewels.”  He brays.

Did they sell?  They were a total disaster and can now be found on the Swarovski website knocked down to a fraction of their original price.

Last night Konstantine was up to his old tricks.

Konstantine is now a film maker.

He has made a ‘film’ and to launch this seven minute animated masterpiece he assembled LA’s elite…  including ‘designer’ Justin Kern and his pretty side kick Stephanie Danan for whom the ‘film’ was commissioned and QVC favorite… fried chicken go to guy and Coca Cola heiress Alex Hitz and a gaggle of loafer wearing euro trash.

“They’re very collaborative people and they’re really creative. They like playing with other creative people and that’s where it all crosses over,” Indeed, Danan and Kern enlisted the efforts of friends like Tatiana von Furstenberg (heiress), “They’re not in a singular mind-set and they can pull from other mediums.”

I walked in and immediately saw twenty people I knew well enough to kiss and twenty people I knew well enough to ignore.

I waved at Konstantine… he flew out of his chair…

“Who invited you…”  he trembled.  His voice deserting its usual treble… escalating into a Maria Callas soprano.

Alex Hitz who I kissed lavishly (after all he had paid for a wonderful dinner at the Sunset Tower) said, “This is Konstantin’s party.”

“I know,” I said, “And I am the wicked fairy.”

Alex shrank into the shadows.  I turned to face the outraged Greek.  Like his country… in debt and struggling to save face.    He held out his fingers like 10 wands and told me to get out.

I left, greeting people on the way out with smiles and kisses.  Clo Perrin (heiress) looking gorgeous in white silk jersy.

Justin Kern waved.  Justin is proof that there is life after modeling… just.

“I’ll be writing about this!”  I grinned cheerily!

Before I left one of the guests, a beautiful young Parisian flew up to me and laughed, “Darling, what a waste of time.  You didn’t miss a thing.   Poor Konstantine.”

Dinner at Laurel Hardware with a cute jew.    Great kisser.

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Such a lovely day yesterday.

Thank you all for your kind wishes and wonderful gifts.

Everything was perfect. The people, the locations, the birthday greetings.

Breakfast at home with one remaining child, the others are away at camp.

Lunch at the club with Tom et al.

After lunch more friends arrive. We decamp to the Chateau Marmont.

I inadvertently drink half a bloody Mary they serve instead of a virgin Mary.

Feel totally buzzed.

A short time at the Abbey on Robertson with more buddies.

Dinner at Gjelina with Gabe and his bf.

Bed time welcome. Sleep like a log. Dreaming of my burgeoning script.

I love this picture.  Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud in Wheelers.

1.

Waking up at Robby’s apartment.  West Hollywood.  Feeling like I have a hangover.  I haven’t.  I’m still not drinking.  Waiting for the right moment…but it never comes.  The sanctity of sobriety.

It’s hard after nearly 16 years to think about the right time to start drinking.

A woman I know from the programme called yesterday.  I told her that I had renounced AA.  “How’s that working out for you?”  She pried condescendingly.

I faked a dropped call.

2.

Saturday pre pride party.  Good fun.  The über gays.  The fake NYC producer I mentioned in an earlier post sitting at his table wondering how I manage to surround myself with such beauty.  He looked exasperated.  Staring over at us.

Pride was a great deal of fun.  On the streets.  The floats have not changed for 30 years: muscle boys and drag queens.  Not very inventive.

I stayed at the London Hotel courtesy of my Kuwaiti friends. They pitched up at 8am.  We ate smoked fish and Quiche for breakfast.

3.

Nothing is obvious.  Just when you thought you’d never kiss anyone meaningfully ever again.

I saw you in the bar and knew you were the one.  A brief conversation.  Kisses, glances, then you pissed on me.  That was new to both of us but so damned exciting.  A mouth full of piss.  Then we spent the afternoon talking.  Eating.  Each other.

You left an impression.   Creases in the bed sheets.

4.

Without me even noticing it LA is full of gay men with beards.

Does this mean that they/we are growing up? That men are trumping boys? The aesthetic is not only very pleasing but means I get looked at all over again. I have some currency…if you know what I mean.

5.

I don’t have time to write this very often.  There’s a great deal to do.

I’m helping those boys in the jail, even though they don’t know it.  Meeting lawyers down town who are investigating conditions in the jail.  They seem shocked.  Young lawyers.  Fresh faced.  Idealists.

I try balancing my complaints with a broader understanding of the jail dynamic.  The deputies are not just cruel…they are frightened.  They do not treat the trans population with contempt because they hate gays, they are confused by the feelings the girls bring up in them.

Ernest lawyers ask how I would change things in the jail.  I am always prepared for those questions.

Last week I sat with Senator Ron S.Calderon who is co-sponsoring a bill in the State of California that would basically abolish the situation in which I found myself.  Protocols would have to be adhered to.  States right to decide trumping the draconian Immigration Department.

I drive for hours to get to the meeting and speak clearly and concisely.  I know that I am speaking on behalf of thousands of wrongly incarcerated immigrants.

I go to cities I would never usually visit.  I am introduced to people I would never usually meet.  Immigrant rights advocates, Methodist ministers.  I am familiar with Secure Communities.  I hear terrible stories.  They tell me that ICE operate like the Gestapo.  They spread fear in the immigrant communities, wrecking homes, lives, marriages, separating families, sending children into foster care.

6.

Then, there is the other work.  Kevin, my incredible new assistant, and I…running all over town.  Putting this show together.  Holding things together.

Today I see the doctor.  No good news all over again. I’m sure.

Wish me luck.

Woke up early. Wanted to get the daub onto the stove. It’d been marinating all night.

Then, something about the process, the action of stirring the pot, as it began to simmer…broke something in me. Like I was having a rare moment of clarity, sanity…and I felt a terrible guilt for the way I had treated…not him…but his parents…drawing them into our drama. Collateral damage.

I wanted to write to them and tell them how sorry I was.

They were innocent.

Then I found that Avadon picture of Ginsberg and his long-term lover Orlovsky. And I thought about them ‘long-term’ and what they were thinking, or not thinking when they kissed for the camera.

I thought about the way they, we…I…describe what we have as long term.

Long term insists that we take what they had seriously. Ginsberg had not just met some man on the street and taken him into the studio. He had made some sort of commitment. Long term.

And I thought that marriage would be just that…long term. That our beards would grow long together. That I would never ever tire of looking at you. Kissing you.

Then I remember that I am here in LA. You send me a picture of Washington Square. It’s all I need right now. A picture.

The whole house smells of beef in red wine, fresh herbs, fresh garlic.

I had lunch with Robby on Monday. We ate a lamb burger at Gjelina. I drank ginger and mint italian soda.

He has been having a wonderful time. Earning masses of cash, loving his man and roaming with his homies. Yes, I wrote that.

On Wednesday I met a friend for lunch, a lunch that didn’t end until 3am. He is 23, he lied about his age. He told me he was older. A masculine dilettante.

We had lunch in Venice, tea in Beverly Hills, an odd party at The Sunset Tower (gays and girls), then dinner at Red Medicine on Wilshire.

Have you heard of Red Medicine? It’s that restaurant, Jordan Kahn’s place…that everyone is talking about.

We ordered far too much. Each baffling plate arrived covered in flowers or Dadaist condiment.

We ate: DUNGENESS CRAB / passion fruit, brown butter, black garlic, Vietnamese crepe, hearts of palm $32

We ate: HEIRLOOM RICE PORRIDGE / egg yolk, hazelnuts, ginseng, echire butter $17 and added Santa Barbara uni for a further $20.

We ate: BEEF TARTARE / water lettuce, water chestnut, nuoc leo, chlorophyll, peanut $15

We ate: AMBERJACK / red seaweed, buttermilk, lotus root, tapioca, succulents $16

Then, after dinner, we lay in the back of his SUV by the beach and kissed each other until my face was raw, my heart was racing, my legs were trembling. I was so completely overwhelmed that I could not drive for ne’er a mile before I had to stop and beg a cigarette from a passer-by.

He is beautiful. He gnawed at my neck until I could not bear it any more.

So, that’s what love looks like in a warm climate. For a moment. Not long-term. Not to be taken seriously. Just a moment. I have trained myself not to yearn for more.

So, the daub will cook for four more hours until it is tender. We will eat it with home-made noodles.

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Since I was released from The Men‘s Country Jail earlier this month I have noticed changes, changes in myself, changes in others.  Even though I have been occasionally combative and resolute when writing here…this may not be the whole story.

The story is revealing itself, the narrative unfolding in ways I did not expect.

There was an occasion in the jail when, after I heard that the immigration lawyers I hired previous to the wonderful Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project had fucked up.  I felt really desperate and powerless.  Carlton, the 24-year-old House Mouse. sat on my bunk and, seeing that I was beginning to flounder, took me in hand and firmly reminded me that The Country Jail was no place for desperation.  He reminded me that if I gave into weakness I would either go mad or die.

He said, “There are too many personalities in here.”  I knew what he meant.  I had lived in Los Angeles for a long, long time.

The other inmates understood that I had a greater purpose for being there and yesterday that purpose became apparent.

Crawling back into life has been challenging.  I feel tender, as if my whole body is bruised. I feel my age.  I am quieter, less prone to irritation, grateful for everything, trying to be kinder.  Becoming vulnerable for all to see, not just those who are the closest to me…everyone.

I had lunch at SH the day before yesterday, saw friends from London who are here for Oscar week.  I saw local friends who knew what had happened but were either too polite or worried to ask details.  If they asked where I had been I blurted out, “I’ve been in jail for three months.”  Then I tell them to read the piece in The Independent.

I sat down with those who needed to know and explained the whole story.

I am not spending every day on the mountain, I am making the effort to live.  I am not making the same mistakes.

Last night we went to a charitable art event in Beverly Hills.  I bumped into Paul Haggis, explained where I had been, the experience of jail.  I told him about Carlton and the men I’d met there.  I’ve no idea why, perhaps because he is a director, I told him things I had not previously mentioned. I painted a more complete picture.

Paul said, “There must have been a reason.”

My jail friend Steve reminded me daily that I was in jail for a purpose, he knew that someone like me doesn’t end up in a place like that without a reason.  That reason is being made clear both on a micro and macro level.

Steve told me, “You can help these people.”  So, it looks like I may very well be able to help.

That purpose will be made clear to you soon.

When I have my ducks in a row.

What is it to be vulnerable, kinder?  What will I lose?  What will I gain?

The boys are here, living here.  Three of them, taking their responsibilities seriously.  Occasionally they clear up without being asked.  Yet, their mess that would have previously pissed me off, scarcely affects me.  Who cares if there are socks all over the place, piles of towels in the bathroom?

What does that matter when I am so grateful they are here.

The life I lived before I was arrested seems like another time, like another place, like a different me.  I am wondering who he was, what interested him, what in hells name I was doing?

I was wondering how he could have got himself into such a mess?  Then I remembered that I left that Duncan back in the jail, the Duncan who was scared of being seen, the Duncan that made unhealthy choices, the Duncan who knew Jake.

When I write about death and suicide, I am really trying to articulate what it is to cast off something already dead. I am not interested in dying.  I have things, suddenly and without warning, that need to be achieved.  Things that before I was arrested never occurred to me.

Am I killing that part of myself that has bedeviled me for so many years?  Can you understand that?  Can you see what I’m talking about now?

Don’t fret my darling friends.  I am emerging from this experience with a different set of principals, new standards of living and unusual priorities.

What was previously important is now worthless.  Clothes, possessions, jewelry, power and prestige.

In jail I learned to get used to the idea of nothing and in nothing I found something I never guessed existed: that very thing after which I had been hankering a whole lifetime.

In nothing I found a peace of mind.

Every dorm in the Men’s County Jail is represented by one elected inmate, that inmate is the dorm’s House Mouse.

Originally called the House Mouth his role is to liaise between the dorm and the police.   He fixes problems, discovers when holds are lifted, dates of release, learns when the police are likely to come into the dorm for unusual reasons and generally makes life easier.

If there is a fight in the dorm it is up to him to get the truth of the fight and make appropriate punishment decisions.

A fight may result in the loss of ‘Programme': TV, vending machine, late night privileges, even access to the commissary or when things really get out of hand…and the police raid the dorm and rip everything up…we end up without blankets or mats sleeping on ‘steel’ which never happened when I was there but we sure came close.

The House Mouse is a tough job, he has to command total respect from both the inmates and the police.  He needs to understand who he can ask for favours and who he needs to leave alone.

The first dorm I lived in was a mess.  The 5300 Mouse was disrespected.  When he called for silence during the time set aside for dorm business nobody took a blind bit of notice.  When silence in the dorm is required he would call ‘Radio!’ I’ve no idea why but that’s what they do in jail.   It means, shut the fuck up.

In the second dorm 5200 our House Mouse Carlton, a young, great looking black man.  An ex gang member, all he needed to do was call ‘Radio!’ once and there was silence in the dorm.

I made friends with Carlton when he learned how good I was at playing Spades.  After a couple of weeks he moved me into the bunk next to him.  Intelligent, wise and stylish he really shouldn’t have been in jail.  If he’d been white he wouldn’t have been.

The language of jail has to be learned quickly.  If, for instance, we were walking outside the dorm and found ourselves approaching a deputy we would be obliged to call out, ‘Walking!’  which alerted the deputy that an inmate was behind him.  Once, I was being escorted to the attorney room and told that I should always be more than five foot from a deputy.

Many of the the younger deputies came to California to pursue other dreams but those dreams had to be set aside because of the recession…here they were marshaling men who simply hated them.   Marshaling the disenfranchised, feeble-minded, surly, mental patients…I mean…there were so many people in the jail with severe mental health issues.  They needed nursing…not policing.

Many inmates were just nuisances rather than criminals.  It’s an expensive way to look after the mental health of the state of California.

Some of the cops, of course, are unapologetic sadists.  Yet, even though I witnessed unsavory behaviour I had sympathy for those men and women.  They are, after all, in jail too.

We were allowed out of dorm 5200 a great deal.  School of course, outside on the roof once a week for three hours, church on Sundays and AA.  The AA meetings were not like any AA meetings I had ever been to in my life.  Imagine 300 trannies from 4 gay dorms catching up on gossip, not giving a damn about the ‘experience, strength and hope’ of who ever was brave enough to come into the jail and share it.

Some of those tranny hookers were really convincing.  Like really high-end chicks with dicks.  Some of them were just really ugly men with make up and long hair and over weight, crafting some sort of cleavage out of their fat pecs.

The tranny hooker market is so huge that most of them put very little effort into looking like real girls.

When Rosemary walked into the dorm the less attractive, more masculine tranny hookers looked very perplexed.

Rosemary was 5 foot tall, well cut hair, perfect tits, hips…a really pretty girl.  Even the deputies looked at her askance.  Obviously intrigued.  She commanded a huge amount of attention.  Good and bad.  She was caught telling another tranny in Spanish what she thought of a particularly fine-looking deputy.  Unfortunately he understood her, pulled her off the line, bawled at her, frisked her and threw her against a wall.

A big man throwing a small, delicate girl against a wall is not a very heartening sight.

The gay dorm in the County jail is unique, I have no idea if beyond California these dorms exist.  I know that they don’t exist in prison.  Which, by the way, was where everyone wanted to be.  Prison rather than jail.  Prison condition are a million times better.  Nobody wanted to do their time in jail.  There are three kinds of prison, the jail (run by the police) the state prison (greater freedoms) and the federal prison which by all accounts is like a country club.

The problem with the Los Angeles County Jail is that is it falling apart, it is over crowded and technically condemned.  There is no money to replace it and no political inclination.  During the boom time the jails were a luxury used to lure voters to vote for those who promised to fill them.  Now the prisons and jails are a huge financial burden and nobody has the guts or political gall to face this crippling problem head on.

The two biggest unions in California are the police officers and the gaolers.  Even if crime numbers fall the police make sure that the jails remains filled.  Consequently, There are a huge number of parole violators and drug offenders inside the jail squandering precious tax dollars.

Even more galling?  Whilst the police arrest and the judiciary hand down custodial sentences the LA schools are falling apart.

There is a correlation between these two facts.

A fearful tax payer would rather pay for more police and prisons rather than educate their kids.

Just look at the draconian Californian three strike law that keeps many, many men inside who really shouldn’t be there.

It is a totally broken system with too many vested interests.

The twins are living here with me in Malibu once again.  They are dancing downstairs.  Their friend Kevin has moved in too.  It’s raining.  I have to see my lawyer today.  Blah, blah, blah.

Duncan RoyBefore I tell you.  Before I make it public.  Before I describe the beauty and the beast…before I feed the children, before I take the dog for a walk I want to say thank you.

Firstly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Robby who never missed a visiting day, who sat behind the bullet proof glass and smiled hopefully and never gave up.  He tirelessly searched through many, many boxes for essential documents.  He put money on  my ‘books’ so I could eat decent food.  He called friends, wrote emails, paid bills, drove between far-flung offices in different parts of Los Angeles in his windowless Miata delivering those essential documents to essential lawyers.

He answered my calls on a Friday night when most beautiful 21-year-old boys should be out chasing equally beautiful people, places and things.

He never gave up.  He never let go.  He told me he loved me when I felt unloved.  He proved, once and for all, that God exists.

I want to thank Dee and Nicola for their extraordinary generosity by paying my lawyers bills.  I want to thank Jason, Jennifer, Anna, Dan, Zelcho and Joan for picking up the phone, for listening, for laughing and caring.

I want to thank Mel for paying the mortgage.

The people on the outside, those good and honorable people complimented those I shared the majority of time inside the Men’s County Jail.  The men who convinced me that everything would work out.  The men who taught me how to play Cribbage, Spades and Feral (my brain REFUSED to learn Pinocle)  and made me join in when all I really want to do was sleep away the day.  Every day.

I want to thank my convicted friends Ivan and Steve, two men my age who sat with me daily (like the council of elders) laughing gently at the antics of the young.

1.

So it began…

The day I was arrested in early November 2011 heralded the beginning of the end of possibly the worst two years of my life.

The end of the mid-life crisis that had well exceeded its sell by date.  It was the end of the madness that had determined far too many bad choices.

A series of catastrophic decisions made after the The Big Dog was torn up in front of me: a relationship with a man who could not possibly give me what I needed and from whom I should have run as fast as I was able…as soon as he revealed the truth about himself. An appearance on a TV show that merely underpinned the rancid thoughts I had brewing about my self.

Finally the reason, that reason…the reason I cannot explain at this particular moment because the lawyers have told me to keep my big mouth shut and on this occasion I have agreed.

This morning at 3am, after a 6 hour wait,  I pulled on the musty clothes I had stowed in a clear plastic bag nearly three months before, from a different year.

For the first time in 3 months my  arms were covered.  My legs felt warm.  My feet enclosed in fur-lined Marc Jacobs boots rather than flopping around in Chinese, black cotton pumps.

The glass door behind which I had been escorted and left, changed out of my baby blue smock and elasticated pants.  On that door the deputy had written in clumsy, black letters K6G.

I was on my own.  On my own for the first time in 3 months.  I could take a shit on my own.  I didn’t.

I pulled on the black knitted Ralph Lauren cardigan.  It smelt as it looked.

Opposite me, a similar room crammed mostly with Mexican immigrants.  Pulling on their terrible street wear.  Their grinning, greasy, fat faces pressed up against the glass.  They knew what I was, they had seen me in the distinctive costume, they knew what K6G meant. I stared back at them.  I wasn’t afraid.

I had not expected to be released.  The narrative I had long accepted included: 4 more months in Men’s County Jail, a further 6 months at a Santa Ana Immigration center and a lengthy deportation.  I had long given up on ever seeing my home, my dog, my view…ever again.

This was the judgement of my expensive but woefully inadequate immigration attorney.  Imminent catastrophe.  God, as it turns out, had other plans.

Frustrated by their miserable prognosis I set about firing them and contacted the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project.  A Catholic organization run by two super smart, compassionate women and paid for by the Mexican Government.

I had my first meeting with them two weeks ago.  They made representation last Friday.  Today I was released from the immigration hold that had polaxed me these past three months.

Of course there were people who were very happy that I had been arrested.  Thrown into jail.  I was told that some were gleeful when I was arrested.  “He’s going down!”  they screamed.

I have no idea when this will end.  No release in sight.  No plea deal.  No, no, no.

Perhaps I will never see the Ocean from my mountain ever again?  The abrupt loss of life, like a suicide, coming here is like committing suicide.  I cannot imagine, dare not imagine returning to that glittering life.

The dream of some future is dashed.

2.

I was arrested on the PCH.  I can’t tell you why.  You’ll have to find out for yourself.  All in good time…more will be revealed.

All I can tell you is this:  I was arrested and charged, when I attempted to bail out I was told that due to an ‘immigration hold’ I was to be kept in custody.  Sent to jail.  I made frantic phone calls, I cried until my face was wet.

At that very moment the line would be drawn between those friends who were able to help and those who turned their back.

After being processed like a bad meat pie out of The Hidden Hills Police Station they drove us to the jail.  They took the scenic route.  They drove along the PCH, past Tom’s house, David’s mansion, The Malibu Inn where I had watched Pink perform a few nights after I met her.

They drove the same route I had driven many, many times since I had moved to Malibu in 2007.  I was in the back of the police bus looking at the hazy dawn, the rising sun over the ocean. The greasy waves flopping lazily over the sand.

They picked up other newly arrested men from an assortment of locations all over Los Angeles.

Those first few days away from home were unpleasant but, thankfully, I remained teachable.  I knew that the harder I struggled the deeper the hook.  I sat behind my eyes, doing as I was told.  Finally, after hours in the bus, we were processed into the jail.  A theatrical experience designed to frighted and malign.

“Look at the floor.” they screamed.  I looked briefly into the blue eyes of the startlingly handsome officer.  He growled, “Don’t look at me.” It was hard not to eroticize his demand.

Flipping from aggressor to victim.

We were given sandwiches and told to sit on metal benches.  Nothing you can do will hurt me.  You cannot hurt me.  

We were interviewed.  “Are you gay or suicidal?”  He asked.  I knew that I hadn’t lied about my gayness, not now or ever.  The moment I told him I was gay I was torn from the line, the general population.  My name called out.  “Roy 066!”  A huge black deputy cut off my wrist band, looking spitefully at me.  “Gay?” he spat.  I nodded.  He attached another band to my wrist.

A yellow wrist band, it said: K 6 G.

My life in jail would now be as different as my life on the streets.

Another few days of being ‘processed’.  Peered at, prodded, questioned.  Many men opted for the gay dorm, straight men, but few achieved their aim.

The straight men want to fuck the convincing trans boys.  The straight men didn’t want the ‘politics’.  The ‘politics’ in the California jail and prison system means living in the racially divided dorm.  If you are black you speak only with the blacks, if you are white or latino you do the same.  If you are caught fraternizing with a black, latino or white (or those who have chosen with whom they will run) you’ll get beaten, stabbed or worse.

Even if you know people on the streets…your best friend even…your affiliations mean nothing, could be deadly.  You keep to your own.

Sadly, this racial divide is perfectly mirrored on the ghetto streets of Los Angeles.  If you weren’t a racist before you went to jail or prison you’ll be one when you leave.   Lessons learned, not easily unlearned.  Tattoos on face and neck.  Tattooed collars, graphic letters…numbers on sculls and forearms.  Boys become men when they hold a gun, shoot a stranger, murder their enemies…BK=Black Killer.

I didn’t experienced the ‘straight’ dorm so I can’t tell you what it feels like to make others invisible because of the colour of the skin.  I can tell you however, that the majority of the white men I met in the gay dorm were despicable, homeless freaks.  Consequently, I hung with my new black buddies.  Most of whom, incidentally, had been co-opted into gangs as young children.

When I arrived they were suspicious, when I left the dorm yesterday evening they surrounded me and held me and cried.

When it was time to settle down and open my bunk to another man it wasn’t a white man I chose.

In the observation tank I met my first latino ‘green lighter’.  He was hiding.  In organized crime, gang and prison slang to green-light a person is to authorize his assassination.  Jose. We talked for hours.  I found him very desirable.  He told me that someone had once paid him 3o bucks for a blow job.

After a harrowing day or so in the vilest of cells waiting to be officially classified as gay they take me to a small office and a distinguished senior officer interviews me.  The officer tries to determine how gay I really am.  “Which gay bars do you go to?”  He looks at me suspiciously when I tell him that I don’t drink.  I tell him that I make gay films.  “Porn?” he chuckles.  Finally, I am determined as a convincing homosexual.  My dark blue ‘straight’ uniform removed, exchanged for a pale blue ‘gay’ uniform…I am sent to the relative safety of the gay dorm.  Dorm 5300.

Nowhere where there are deputies is anyone gay…safe.  I have abandoned my cloak of invisibility. They can see exactly what I am. The deputy whispers threateningly, “You gays have a sick life style.”  He can’t say it loudly.  They can’t beat us, not like they used to…not since the controversial undercover FBI sting that lead to the end of ritual beatings and institutionalized homophobia.

The night I arrived I watched the flat screen TV Robert Downey Junior had bought the gay dorms after his stint at The County Jail.  The inmates watch Law and Order.  CSI.  Anything by Tyler Perry.  By the time I left 5300 I had watched everything Tyler Perry had ever made.  He makes really bad films.

Dorm 5300 was like an insane and exotic freak show.

There are four gay dormitories, each holding 90 men.

80% pre-op transsexual, 90% HIV+, 50% homeless, 90% meth related crime, 80% parole violators.

The gay white boys had Supreme White Power written on their alabaster bodies.  They had badly drawn pictures of Norse Gods.  Claiming their white supremacist, Odinist heritage whilst fucking chocolate coloured trannies.

The tranny hookers, the homeless white boys, the squabbling couples who indulged nightly in domestic violence.

I watched in awe as a young man, caught by his fierce tranny wife fucking another ‘girl’, throw a chair through the flat screen TV bought by Robert Downey Junior.

I knew that I had to keep my mouth shut.  I had to learn quickly.  I listened.  I learned.

Statistically, there is more violence in the gay population (inmate against inmate) than in the rest of the 6000 plus general population.

3.

When they finally slept I walked between the serried bunks.

If I stroll between the bunks at dawn I remember what it is like to be at home in England.  I can smell the sea, the shingle on the beach crunching under foot, wrapped up warm against the bitter easterly winds, just me and The Little Dog.  We don’t need anyone else.  Did I tell you how much he loves the snow? Leaping carelessly into the great drifts.

One day I will see you again England.  I will walk gratefully in the rain, on the London streets and country lanes.  If I am able (if I can get back to you) they will drop us at the edge of the valley and we will walk to the house, past the stream where we would play, the pasture, the forest of rhododendrons, along the drive flanked by ancient Douglas Fir.

The door will open and they will be pleased to see me, hug me, feed me.  They will let me sleep until I am recovered.

More tomorrow.

Yesterday a pair of young film makers turned up at the apartment to work with me on their well written but unfocused script.

The man was leaving as they arrived.

They said, “Wow, he’s gorgeous.  Where do you meet men like that?”

Not in clubs or bars, not grindr or Manhunt.  I meet men like that as we pass in the street.  He said, “You looked mean.”  I am…I suppose.  I do.  Keep the fuck away from me.

Anyway, the film makers sat down and we talked about their script.  It was revealed, during our conversation, that one of these young men had recently found out that he was HIV+.

This is the third time I have heard this story, or one like it this past month.  His sex partner had not told him the truth about his HIV status before he agreed to have unsafe sex.

He had been lied to.

I was shaking with rage.

Like J risked J’s life when he was fucking HIV+ artist Pal S behind her back, like X had been lied to…these innocent folk had made bad decisions based on the lies they were told.

On each occasion the liar had tried to make it the victim’s fault.

” You shouldn’t have believed me.”

“You must have realized.”

“I can’t talk about this right now, you are complicating my life.”

“What kind of straight man doesn’t play sports?”

He is 25 years old.  A young man dealing with a huge problem.  He told me that he feels like he has ‘gone back into the closet’, that ‘no one could possibly love him’, that he is ‘damaged goods’.

“How do you feel about the guy who infected you?”  I asked.

“He’s evil.” he replied.

“Misguided?”  I suggested.

No, I told myself, not misguided.  I knew he was right.  Deliberately infecting or risking the lives of others…is simply evil.

My phone rang, I made a plan to see a friend the following morning.  

The boys looked at me askance. What?  I said.  “I’ve never seen anyone make an arrangement like that on the phone.  We text each other.”  I felt suddenly dislocated from life.  How come I didn’t know?

The kid with HIV is now at the mercy of the pharmaceutical companies who stand to take millions of dollars from him as he tries to stay healthy.

The same companies who promote their products in our gay publications… paying top dollar to do so.

Look at the pictures.  Strapping, healthy boys living with HIV.

Big Pharma shaping this generations attitude toward HIV as a manageable/livable with disease… just like diabetes!

Turn your back on health education, embrace ignorance and a life shackled to Big Pharma.  Enslaved at 25.  My heart bled.

“I never knew anyone who died of AIDS.” he said.

When this young man was being bullied at school for being gay he may very well have been reassured by the biggest deception of all:  It Gets Better.  Dan Savage‘s message of false hope.

It is another gay lie.

We don’t treat each other very well.  We don’t talk about not treating each other very well.

They stop bullying us…we start where they left off.

If they don’t damage you…we will…with my lies and infected sperm.

It’s not getting better for the young man I met yesterday.  It’s getting a whole heap worse.  Straight bullies didn’t lie and infect him with HIV.  Gay men did.

Gay men lied to three of my friends…confirming that it is not just an HIV epidemic, it is an epidemic of lies, betrayal and life threatening denial.

Uneducated, shamed, arrogant, drug fucked gay men with no principles.

Just like Jake.

The only reason I have to come back to NYC so frequently is to meet Jake in court.  Prolonging the inevitable.

Forced, yet again, to indulge his tantrums, his ego, his selfishness.

Without me in his life to define him as the victim…what is he left with?  Without me and his appearances in court…he returns to the mundane fixtures and fittings of the life that was…if one can call it a life?

Yet, when I am here in NYC, I make the most of it.  Happily wiling away the days, finishing my novel, seeing movies, hanging with my buddies, walking the dog, enjoying the humid nights tangled in your arms.

When he left this morning we both said, almost in unison, ‘I don’t do goodbyes’.   I don’t.  He had his bicycle over one shoulder, he didn’t look back.  I can still smell him on my fingers.

I will have a shower when I get back to LA.

I have spent the past day or so in bed.  The dog is less sick, eating again.  We have to get his drain removed.  He is wearing the Elizabethan collar but hates it.

My left leg is getting better…my right ankle isn’t.  Robby stayed over last night.  Today he watered the garden, filled the hot tub, went to the supermarket and ran around the house as I finally caught up on all the various tasks that could be accomplished from my bed.

Jen and Jason were incredibly helpful.  Anna brought supper.

Surrounded, as usual, with love.  Occasionally it is hard to recognize just how lucky I am.

Robby and I have a wonderful relationship.  We talk and play and the more I know him…the more I trust him.  In fact, I might trust him more than any person I know right now.  He has been a perfect antidote to JB. I feel hopeful again because he brings me love.

Crippled and confined to the couch he was pottering about the house making everything look good.

We were talking about how private one needs to be in life.

He is a tentative soul.

He wondered why I write every personal detail here in this blog.  Make public what most people keep private.  Something that delighted Jake until (of course) he was part of it, part of the narrative…then it wasn’t quite so alluring.

Learn this lesson:  If you don’t like your private life being scrutinised…avoid public figures…you will lose your anonymity.

The reality guy who killed himself this week?  He had no idea just how pernicious reality TV really is.

We mused about what remains private and what should be public.  I am quite clear why I write everything here.

If, like me, you have lived an audacious, notorious life then for every eager friend there is a fool desperate to pull you down.

It is best to live without secrets.  Many years ago I was taught that we are as sick as our secrets.  What does that mean?   If you are cheating on your wife you will be defined by your deception.  If you are lying to your friends you will be hindered by self-doubt.

If I have made mistakes, told a lie, cheated a friend or been generally disreputable then I write it here.  My part in what ever unfolding drama is worth noting. We tend to focus on who to blame and rarely acknowledge our responsibility.

Keeping my side of the street clean.

That is why I have struggled so badly with you-know-who.   It has been incredibly difficult to own my part.  I don’t want to admit my short comings.

I make him responsible.  I blame him.  I say:  He lied to me.  He cheated.  He duped me.  He did drugs in front of me.  All of this is true…of course, but has to be balanced with:   I am responsible.  I lied to him.  I chose somebody inappropriate.  I allowed myself to be duped.  I had no boundaries.

When I point at him three fingers point back at me.

What is the answer?

I aim to be ashamed of nothing.  This leads, inevitably, to peace of mind.

You, dear reader, know everything!  There’s nothing I’ve not written about.  You know every insane thought, every defect, every leak and misery.

You know everything…so I fear nothing.  Not one of you has anything on me.

When you live a lie you are vulnerable.  I don’t want to be vulnerable.

Back to NYC next month to see JB in court but it’s fashion week and I’ve been invited to a slew of fashion week events.  Robby will be in town so we can do some fun shit.  I love that boy.  Jenny will be there too and wants to come to court with me.  Before we vanish to The Hamptons.

There is a great deal to do these coming autumn/winter months.

LA will be hosting Pacific Standard Time the culmination of a long-term Getty Research Institute initiative that focuses on postwar art in Los Angeles.

Through archival acquisitions, oral history interviews, public programming, exhibitions, and publications, the Research Institute is responding to the need to document the historical record of this vibrant period.

Between October 2011 and February 2012, a major exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum will present a survey of postwar painting and sculpture in Los Angeles.

It will be a great deal of fun.

In tandem with PST,  Art Platform—Los Angeles, the west coast cousin of The Armoury,  is collaborating with Pacific Standard Time to organize an extraordinary series of events and services to highlight this historic period and unprecedented weekend of art in Los Angeles.  Rather wonderfully I am part of their VIP Programme.

Tonight Eric is bringing supper.  The little dog will get better.  I am willing him to.  Help me think him right.

Such a perfect day…see more here.

It was perfect this evening in Malibu, I thought I would share it with you.

Alex and I hung the bronze lamp this morning.  I found it in a Beverly Hills dumpster..where they throw this sort of thing away.

 

My calves ache.  Why?

As an experiment I took the bus from Malibu to Hollywood.

It was much easier than one imagined.  I walked off the mountain, leaving the dog in the house.  I walked the long way down the steep Las Flores Canyon in the blazing midday sun causing blisters and bruising on both feet.

At the bottom of the hill there’s a very convenient bus stop.

On the way there the bus was crammed with migrant workers and mental patients.  By the way, even mental patients have smart phones that they check compulsively every ten seconds.

What could they be possibly checking?

I liked the ride along the PCH…looking out to sea, watching cormorants bombing the waves and dolphins making their way west.  Everything looked very pretty and southofranceafied.

On the way back, the bus was full of homeless people keeping out of the unusually evening cold.  Bad move.  The air conditioning made it colder inside than outside the bus.

On both trips I met a few disgruntled European tourists who were shocked by the patchy public transportation: how long everything took and general lack of information, schedules etc.

Had I not used my iPhone travel app I’m sure I would have gotten very lost.  Maybe that’s what the the mental patients were checking…their route.

Surprisingly I still have a huge amount of shame around taking the bus in LA.  Nowhere else do I feel it.  Anywhere else it’s just the way things are.

Getting back to Malibu later that evening was miserable so I aborted the mission and caught a cab from Sunset and PCH waiting in a smelly fish restaurant called Gladstone’s until a jolly Georgian cabby picked me up.  $30.

On the way home two large dogs dashed across the PCH.  They were not killed but I don’t know how they survived.  They survived the mad dash.  Thank God.  The cabby started shouting incoherently at the owner in Russian and English.

“Fuck you!”  He screamed.  “Fucker!”

As he dropped me off he said, “You can never depend on a man but a dog will never let you down.”

I spent yesterday morning in the garden, planning to hang this huge bronze lantern I found on the street.  I need a sturdy chain and a butchers hook.

Capitalizing on my confidence surge I arranged to see my Important Producer Friend.  It worked out really well.  Before I leave LA/USA for good I have to achieve more than a couple of reality TV shows and a revenge novel…oh, and a beautiful garden.

Perhaps I’m being a little hard on myself.

Anyway, after a few moments of timidity I burst into the pitch with passion and verve.  He wants to help.  He is able to help.  Real power in an illusory town.  I felt safe.

Whilst I was with him it was easy to identify what has been missing these last two years.

Let’s look at the facts: I can write an interesting script, develop a great idea, direct a compelling movie.  Sell it, promote it, open film festivals worldwide.  I can really do that.  I’ve done that with all but one of my films.

Because I’ve had the wind punched out of me I just couldn’t find the huge strength required to force the film off of the page and into the world.  Perhaps I can?  Now I have the energy and focus.

Walking down the mountain to the PCH rather than staying at home and weeding the garden…well, that’s the advice I would have given a good friend.  Get off your ass and do the deal.

The miserable veil, today…for the past few days has lifted.  Let’s see if it will last.

Watching that evocative twenty year old video enthused and invigorated me.  I remembered just how much I have to be proud of.  At the time I was making theatre, living an idyllic, simple life in Whitstable.  Just returned from six months in Sydney, about to go to Film School, hanging with cool people, making love to beautiful men and mostly very happy.

My early thirties were great fun.

I think that’s obvious from those images.

I wondered what it would take to get back to that place.  That happy place?  Well, I have to think seriously about this blog.  Because of you know who I kept this thing alive and by doing so I kept my connection with him alive.  Like a daily letter to him.

It’s hard to imagine not writing this blog.  It’s hard to let go.

The personal details that I pump daily into the world must stop.  I have to get serious.  This blog has become a destructive addiction, just like everything else I do compulsively.

I am at The Honor Fraser Gallery on La Cienega.

My old friend Toby Mott is hanging his show Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper.

While the Sex Pistols and the Clash wreaked havoc on Britain’s pop scene, their disciples were busy with glue and scissors, channelling punk’s energy and DIY spirit into hundreds of posters, fanzines and sleeve art.

Toby’s exhibition brings back these lost classics of the revolution.

Later on in the day Punk Archivist Bryan Ray Turcotte joined Toby at the gallery.  Bryan wrote the best-selling Fucked Up and Photo Copied.

Backdrop courtesy of Bridget Riley.

Honor Fraser Gallery, 2622 S La Cienega BlvdLos Angeles, California 90034

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