Archives for posts with tag: mother

Some people come into your life and teach you just what you need to know just when you need it.

Some people take what they need and leave like thieves in the night and one must be willing to sacrifice all that one has for those who have very little.

They would not steal unless they really needed it.

Friends come and go.  Those you have loved with such great passion eventually fade away.  Old friends die, but remain eternally in one’s heart.

I am grateful that I have had a life enriched by so many.   Each and every one of you, whether you like me or not continue to add new dimension and colour to a life less ordinary.

I tread water so that others may not drown.

Can you help me please?  Can you show me the way?  Can you be wise for me?

Occasionally my Wikipedia page is vandalized.  They always do the same thing.  They take down all my achievements leaving only the acts for which I am notorious.  They underline every cruel adjective ever tossed my way.  They remove every kind word or deed.

They want you to believe that I am only bad.  That I am only capable of cruelty, vileness and loathing.

I wonder what sort of fool does that?    I know some of you have found it very hard to forgive me for merely surviving against the odds.  I know that you would like me to end up like Sebastian Horsley: alone and dead and cold.  Frankly, when the time comes..who cares?

Chatting with Toby Mott yesterday we concluded that Sebastian maybe more interesting dead than alive. We agreed that the British art establishment ignored his life but will embrace his death.

However I may be rewritten on the pages of Wikipedia the truth is I am all the things I have been described, good and bad.  Yet, in my eyes, neither as good or bad as the next man.  Why is it so impossible for those who seek to devalue me to own that this might be true?

We are all made of devil and angel.

I may have made errors of judgement, lost my temper occasionally, owed some people some money but I have never raped or murdered anyone.  I have never committed treason, nor have I been part of any radical conspiracy.

I have been a bit of a cunt but who the fuck isn’t?

I have no desire for legacy.  When I am dead and gone the sand will cover the place where my footprints once were.  The tide will wash away any evidence that I even existed.

God save me from mediocrity, from suburban thinking.  God help me stay curious about everything forever and sensitive to those I love.

You know, I have never understood why people treat love so casually.   When I first feel a connection with someone, when I feel that love is in the offing I am not only inspired but convinced that new love must be treated like a precious thing, as fragile as a Ming vase.  If we are truly capable of romantic love then we must treat it with respect.  As relationships grow the vase morphs into an old leather football that can be tossed around if needs be.

Time, familiarity, endurance, perseverance all serve to strengthen love.

I have prayed these past few months to be delivered from the worst that love has caused in me.

Have my words far outweighed my actions?  It is easy to say that you love someone but maybe the word should never be spoken.  Love should be like a silent film.   If I truly love you, if my love is pure then you will know it and honor it.

Long chat with my mother yesterday.  She sounded happy.  The Women’s Institute keeping her busy.  My brother’s baby will be christened on August 1st.

I found a book of photography called Chaos by Josef Koudelka at my house in Malibu that Kristian gave me for my birthday some years ago.  In it he wrote:

“I thought this book was very apt.  Life is never black and white yet always flowing with chaos.  I feel this book goes some small way to prove that even in chaos there is beauty.”

It was lovely to find his note.   A message from Kristian, from the past.  The past, where we must leave him.

I had to make some huge and grown up decisions today.   Decisions and about romance and finance.  The two are unconnected yet have been hideously intertwined as I grappled with one or the other for the past few months.

As my fear of financial ruin overwhelmed me I turned to him to deliver me from the truth.   Today, I just had to face my unfortunate situation head on.

My financial insecurity is undoubtedly connected to uncomfortable feelings of self-worth, prestige and power.  The romance I want but cannot have.   Some things are just not meant to be.  It is challenging to come to terms with these sorts of truths but as I have written here in this blog on many occasions when I do make decisions they are swift and sure.  Something, actually, Drew Pinsky taught me whilst I was on the sex rehab show.

I have deliberately avoided talking about either the romance or the finance on this blog but more importantly I have kept it secret to those who love me best.  Fuck, it is exhausting keeping secrets.  I really hate it.  I have no intention of going into any specific detail about the romance or the finance right now.  All you need to know is that I sat with John after the cake was cut and the presents were opened and told him everything I had been hiding for the past few months.  Phew.

As we all know: the truth will set you free.

I let go of a secret I was determined to keep.  Everything I have ever let go of has been relinquished unwillingly.  With claw marks all over what ever was finally gone.

Deep down I am as sure as I ever was that everything will turn out just the way it was meant to be.   I believe in my fate.

My relationships burn like super novae in the cosmos then shrink and die.  I have an opportunity right now to make a different set of choices: taking contrary action, living in acceptance and handing over what ever gives me pain to my higher power.

Just a few days away from my trip to Europe where I will celebrate a hefty milestone.   I have chosen to travel with a close friend.  Someone I love but not a lover.   We (and The Little Dog) will explore London and Paris.  For the sake of The Little Dog we will once again visit the wallabies in the Jardin des Plantes that my darling, loyal pet found utterly spell binding when we visited Paris last Autumn.   I am sure he must have thought that they were the biggest squirrels he had ever seen.

Am I prepared to walk away with dignity?  From people, places and things?

What I own is not who I am.  Who I love cannot define me.  Of course I would love to be in love with a man who loved me as much as I loved him.

I have come a very long way this past year.  The road to serenity, self-love, sexual sobriety is littered with the corpses of those who could not.

I must have buried 30 people during the last 12 years, killed by addiction.  Overdose, suicide, etc.  Every one my hero for keeping me sober.   Each and every one.

This evening I celebrated my friend’s daughter’s 5th birthday.  I sat with his family and watched his happy little girl blow out the candles on her cake.   After supper I wandered into Soho House on my own and found people I knew to take my mind off of the grueling aloneness.  I am not lonely, I just can’t be bothered to make the effort to accept the invitation nor get in the car and drive to people who genuinely love me.

On my way home, as if by magic, friends called me.  Emails arrived, text messages appeared on the screen of the iPhone and I was wrenched away from the promise of a night of self-pity.  I can be such a pig at that particular trough.

I said to him the other night that what I found so hard to let go of was the promise of enduring love.  The door had been opened then slammed shut.  I am the wise uncle, asexual, decrepit yet ultimately willing to be of service to those who need me.

Without the crutches of objectification, intrigue and seduction I can some times flounder.  I can sometimes fall.  Late at night, when all hope is gone I wonder who will catch me?  Who will catch me when I fall?

For a moment back then, I thought it might be you. I thought, foolishly, that it might be YOU.  I thought it was you when I was 20, 30, 40 and now.   Being in love with Richard in my twenties.  I was heartbroken when he would flirt with girls.  At my birthday party on Island Wall, Whitstable my Mother saw the pain I was in and tried to reach out to me but shame got in the way.

The legacy of shame.

Love has always been my goal.  To be loved.  I crave love the way most men crave sex.

I told him:  I’m really scared that I will never love again.   That I will never be loved.  How could I have got this so wrong?    To believe that love was possible, enduring and could be one day mine?

From out of the chaos comes beauty.  It will give me succour when all else fails.  I am going to Europe to fill my heart and soul with art and architecture.  To walk the streets and parks of two great cities.  To explore what it might have been like to be loved.   I know that when I get back he will be gone.  It is our swan song, our last hurrah.  But before I write the end I must enjoy the journey.  I must not fear the future nor have unrealistic expectations, I must set aside my shame and feel the sun on my face, in my heart.

50 years ago this month my Mother, eight months pregnant, was scrubbing floors for nuns at a catholic ‘Mother and Baby’ home in the depths of rural Kent.    For 6 months, this teenage girl, had undergone an emotionally  disfiguring baptism of shame.

The young girls in this Catholic facility were persuaded that for their acts of fornication and subsequent pregnancies they should be punished before God and their unborn, bastard children maligned.

This penance would not edify my Mother.  She would not repent.  She had already glimpsed the burgeoning freedoms of post-war Britain.  She had met a rich, well-dressed, exotic, Persian boy who drove a sports car and had given herself to him.  She was aspirational, a teenage girl with an appetite for the modern world.   She wanted what he had, the freedom he had but he wanted less from her than she from him and after moments of unbridled passion she was pregnant and abandoned.  One can only imagine how dreadful she felt telling her Edwardian parents that she was carrying me, knowing that her life would never be the same again.

My grandmother, disgusted by her willful daughter’s precocious ambition, spoke to a priest who organized seven long months of incarceration at the Mother and Baby home where she would be forced to abandon her dreams in exchange for shame, resentment and fear.

My grandparents abandoned her to her fate.  During the 7 months she was sent away they did not visit her once.  After I was born they accepted her home begrudgingly.

Most of the girls would give up their babies.  Some of them willingly some, like my mother, unwillingly.

She could not breastfeed me.  I refused to suckle.   Perhaps I already knew that life was not worth living?  The nuns insisted and forced me onto her nipple.   My mother left me behind at the Mother and Baby home to be adopted but fate or circumstance or racism intervened.  I could not be adopted.  My skin was olive toned, my hair curly, my eyes jet black.  It was obvious to all the prospective parents who viewed me during the time I was offered up for adoption that I would not fit invisibly into any nice, white family.

By July the 8th 1960 the day of my birth the door had well and truly shut on the promises of the age.

Remember, during the first few months of the 1960’s my mother was unaware that this decade in the United Kingdom would be described variously as ‘swinging’, ‘progressive’ and ‘free’.

What of these nuns now?  These Brides of Christ?  Where was Jesus when all of this was going on?  Where was the love of God?

My Mother was neither free to keep me even though she begged to do so and the home I would eventually end up in, although loving, was certainly not progressive nor swinging.

My Grandmother, in a rare moment of charity, decided to go fetch me and I ended up, once again, with my teenage mother and her mother and her mother in a small, semi-detached house in a genteel seaside town.   Besides these three women I lived with my two aunts and my sickly grandfather.   Victorian Herne Bay was, was at that time, still enjoying the benefit of the second longest pier in England, a bandstand and the cavernous Kings Hall where polite tea dances were held.

mother

There are photographs of me ensconced in the bosom of this dysfunctional family.   I was the son my grandfather never let my grandmother have.  She doted on me, walked me through the streets come rain or shine.  Then, she let me go.

During the darkest days of my childhood I would try to get back to that house.  A house I knew and loved but when I got there it was never the house I remembered.  She sent me back again and again.

I lived there for two years until my mother married a local lad and we moved to Whitstable.   My Grandmother was thrilled to have her sullied daughter married.  It was, in fact, against all the odds.   She was ‘taken off my hands’ my Grandmother later told me.

50 years ago.  50 years. I have lied about my age for so long that I am in shock when I type those words.  The number has come too soon.  I am not prepared to be this old nor was I ever expecting it.  Shocking!  Why did I never expect to live?   On many occasions during my childhood I expected to die at the hands of my angry step-father.

When I finally escaped that man I sought out equally destructive situations.

I have been hankering after the long sleep since I was born.

As I sit at my desk in Los Angeles my greatest triumph, if at all my only triumph, has been to survive.  To avoid the catastrophic blow that I expected every day.    I may not have fulfilled my potential but I have certainly achieved more than I ever expected, more than I was told to expect.    In spite of my temper, my addictions, my desire to take up where my murderous step-father left off I am alive!

It is only recently that I tentatively acknowledged that life must be lived.

For as long as I can remember I have imagined and reimagined my death. For long as I have flown in aeroplanes I have reveled in turbulence.   As often as I have picked up strange, beautiful and dangerous men I have wished death come to me.

Shame has cast such a deep shadow over me that all I ever managed to do is struggle blindly down life’s treacherous path.  Stumbling into people along the way who could see.  Many of those people realizing that I was blind did not help without benefit to themselves. Many of those people, when I understood what monsters they were, were shocked when I ferociously bit their hand off up to the elbow.

Perhaps this is why I stayed close to my family home, a family that did not want me.  Even to this day I hanker after Whitstable.  There are still elderly parents of friends my age who remember the small boy who escaped his home whenever he could and seek refuge in theirs.

My Father 1960

During the next month I am going to write an abridged memoir.   We know the beginning and most of you know where I am right now.  So, as I make my way East through New York and Paris back to my old hometown of Whitstable I will let you know what I remember, what I care to remember from the last 50 years.

Today, the little dog is on my bed waiting to walk through the Californian sun to our local coffee shop.  There are people there who know me from the television.  People who might wave a tentative hello.   Tonight I may hear from the man I love and tell him so without shame or expectation.   It’s not much to ask is it?  To be loved, to love.  To be loved..to love?

 

For those of us who live in this part of Hollywood the Security around the highly anticipated Oscar Award Ceremony can be a big pain in the ass, at least for the one day of the ceremony.

 

I live exactly two minutes walk from the Kodak Theatre in the very heart of Hollywood.   Franklin Avenue, where I live,  has been completely closed and all the cars that were inadvertently left after the 6am deadline have been towed. More money for the city of Los Angeles.

 

Swarms of security guards patrol the streets, armed police with vicious dogs hang out in ominous gaggles, guards check under cars with mirrors on sticks, concrete road blocks hamper normal journeys in and out of our neighborhood and for one day only we get to feel what they must feel in Baghdad every day.

 

 

 

 

I had a huge dream last night.  Kay S, Amanda E, three other unknown women and I were descending a steep mountainside. Lil dog had transformed into a waist high dog/goat, his soft ears all leathery like a goat, his soft coat transformed into wiry fur.   I knew that we were facing something treacherous at the bottom of the mountain and as with all of my bad dreams the light was eerie like during an eclipse.  I woke up exhausted.

 

 

 

 

 

My Scar

When I last saw my therapist she asked if I thought I might be depressed.   I could tell immediately that I might get all sorts of expensive medical attention if I said yes.  I gleefully imagined a warm hospital bed somewhere.  My favorite.

 

 

 

I remembered the terrible car accident that my family were involved in when I was a small boy, remembering the moment that I was thrown off of my mother’s lap, out of the warm car and through the front passenger window and into the cold rain and the wet grass.  I remember my aunts bleeding legs, I remember the ambulance, the hospital where I would stay for a very long time as my head repaired.  I still have a huge scar that when I have very short hair everyone comments on.

 

 

 

 

When I write the word family I wonder whom I could possibly mean?  Does that word apply to me?


 

I am sitting outside the supermarket Fresh and Easy waiting for the store to open.  It is 8am, an endless stream of determined Academy Award production crew pass by me, their scripts in their back pockets. They are all dressed in black so they can vanish amongst the stars.   They are the night.

 

 

 

 

I feel like I have been fast asleep.  I wonder if it is worth waking up?

Alison Schulnik presently showing at Mark Moore Gallery

Whilst cooking lunch yesterday I bent over and herniated one of my disks.  My spine gave out and I am now laying supine in a cloud of white linen and little dog waiting for the pain to subside.  Symptoms include: Shooting electric spasms in my legs.  Laboured breathing.  My balls ache.  It is Impossible to make the most simple move without the most excruciating pain.  So, this is what getting old is all about?   I went into a terrible shame spiral as I was forced to ask Cooper to help me perform the most simple task.

Instantaneously crippled by SHAME and spine failure.

Shame, Resentment and Fear.  The three ugly sisters who regularly cripple this particular Cinderella.

It’s interesting how a deeper understanding of toxic shame has given me a greater insight into all things-especially writing fiction.

Watching my adaptation of Dorian Gray again last night with Cooper  (I was in bed sweating from the flu and squirming in pain from my herniated disk)  I realized how much more evolved it could have been.

My contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s only novel Dorian Gray is a deeply flawed movie.

If I had had the understanding that I now have..understood Dorian Gray’s shame and Lord Henry Wooten’s subtle manipulation of it.   If I had comprehended why Dorian, in turn, heaps shame upon Basil Hallward.

We collectively determine what is shameful and who we think ought to feel shame .  Shame is subjective.

Sanctimonious people, self-righteous people, religious people, are all very eager to heap shame on whomever takes their fancy.

My mother’s shame began as a young 16-year-old girl when she had me-out of wedlock.  To make matters worse my father was a Persian!  My mother was hustled out of dodge by my vitriolic Grandmother to a Catholic mother and baby home where she was forced everyday, by nuns, to perform menial acts of attrition and atone for her sins.

I was born into shame.  I have perpetuated it at my leisure.  I was oblivious to how shame had shaped my life until I started dealing with my sex issues.

For what should we legitimately feel shame?  Should I feel shame for being gay?  Should Natalie Octomum Suliman (Natalie is her birth name) feel shame for having all those babies?  Judging by what is written on my comments page the answer would be a resounding YES.

There is a disturbing connection, for me, between Natalie Octomum and my mother who, 50 years ago, was shamed for the same thing..for giving birth.  They were both called selfish, irresponsible, their actions cast as shameful and both punished by society.

My mother’s character would not have withstood a barrage of outraged press attention when I was born.  She may have come off as surly or defensive when in fact she was just scared and confused.   After refusing to give me up for adoption (for which she was branded selfish and irresponsible) she had the audacity to ‘sponge’ off of her parents and the state before she got a job.

The mother and baby homes run by nuns have all been closed down.  We would be outraged, in the UK, if we heard that heavily pregnant young girls were scrubbing floors by way of Christian punishment.  My Mother was considered by her shamed parents as both criminal and wrong-just like Natalie Suliman.  However, times change and wounds heal.

The morally acerbic press keep Natalie in a holding pattern of shame.  The babies are born!  By punishing Natalie we merely punish every one of those children, creating a stinking cloud of toxic shame that will linger for the rest of their lives.

This is OUR part in the shame game, we perpetuate shame as and when we feel like it.

My mother’s actions in the early 1960′s are scarcely shame worthy in contemporary Great Britain.   In fact most British people would not think Natalie Octomum should have shame heaped upon her for her actions.  She is perceived as a macabre American sideshow where ‘freedom’ breeds freaks like Natalie and people like me who end up on Dr Drew’s Sex Rehab.

Natalie, in my eyes, is neither criminal, wrong, selfish, irresponsible or cruel.  Unless her children are not being loved or cared for…and one assumes with so many prying eyes on Natalie Suliman an unwashed kitchen surface would be enough for child protection agencies to be summoned..then she should be allowed to get on with her very own brand of American ‘freedom’.

Hey, America, I don’t give a damn that Natalie accepts public handouts.  Sounds like some of you want her to feel shame for accepting welfare.  It stinks when I read that some of you don’t think that she is capable of rearing those children when really none of you have any evidence to the contrary.  None of you know how capable she is of limitless love.  None of you.

As my therapist friend Sean M is want to say:  There’s No Shame in My Game.

Finally an artist who inspires:  Allison Schulnik who is presently showing at the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica‘s Bergamot Station.  I am persuading all of my friends to buy her work.  It is amazing.  A real figurative painter who uses great gobs of paint with such dexterity and precision, so sculpturally and with such poise that I stood before the work salivating, hankering after Frank Auerbach, De Kooning and oddly Corot.   I immediately called Kay and Amanda and insisted that they buy something whilst Allison’s work remains affordable.

I find myself, like the rest of the Christian world, in limbo.  The dark, dark days between Christmas and New Years Eve.

Woke up at decent hour.  Fed dogs raw meat their Special Christmas Treat and apparently very good for them.  They seem to love it.    Long walk around Hollywood wearing my red shoes.   Seems to cause consternation to some passers by.  Red shoes, yellow socks.

Not wearing my waistcoat-we don’t say vest in England unless referring to an under garment.

Watched Another Country before I went to bed.  Cried buckets of tears at the end.  That movie still speaks volumes to me.  I wonder how Rupert feels if he ever sees it?   Him looking so beautiful.  What must any of those actors think?

It reminded me, of course, of being in love when I was young.  Yet most people must think of first, young love after watching that movie.

You know, I have been in love.  Real love.  The sort of yearning love that hurts so much you want to die.  I’ve felt that.  Oh bugger.  I loved you so much!  I loved you in spite of my worst fear.  I wanted you to love me back-so badly.

‘That’s a deep sigh.’  He said.  “Falling in love with a man is so exquisite.  Every time I feel this way I don’t know if I can carry on.”

Fred Hughes, I just wanted to write a moment longer about Freddy Hughes.  Remember, I met Freddy in Paris when I was still a teenager and he couldn’t have been much older than 30.   He was running the Andy Warhol empire.  Chic and funny he captivated me with his charm, not his life.  I didn’t really understand his life until I arrived in New York and lived with him in that remarkable house on Lexington.

I spotted Robert Dupont on the street as Kay, Jerome and I were drinking hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.  Either Robert or his twin Richard was Freddy’s real boyfriend-I was the secret affair.   I am always the affair, the secret obsession outside of a marriage.  Always the mistress, never the bride.  Wanted to mention Freddy because I was remembering men I had loved.

The year I met Freddy he was diagnosed with MS.  Toward the end, wheelchair bound, he was so angry with everything and everyone.  I don’t want to die like that.  I am aiming for peace of mind-to die in peace.

After my morning bath I called my friend and fellow philanderer Toby Mott to tell him that Kay Saatchi had bought one of his paintings.  He was thrilled.   We chatted about money.  He had never been paid for the painting by the gallery who sold it but was simply thrilled to have sold it to Kay and really, he said, didn’t care about the money.  Very British.  Very bourgeois.

Montesquieu summed up the French approach to money more than two centuries ago, observing that ”money is estimable when it is scorned.” The Bordeaux nobleman and philosopher was very, very rich.

Where ever there has been a ruling, aristocratic elite an artificial shame is constructed around the discussion of money.

I remember my Grandmother and Mother both chiding me for wanting to understand money.  “Discussing money is vulgar.” my grandmother would say.  As a consequence of my never being allowed to discuss money (like sex) I now find it almost impossible to define my value, to monetize my success, to have a sense of what I am worth.

I lament my Grandmother shushing me when I first showed interest in money.

Whilst my ‘class’ were blushing about money the rich weren’t having any qualms at all and talked about it all the time.

As I found, during my years as an aristocrat, if one can talk freely about money then one may understand how it works and how to acquire more of it.  If one is persuaded that conversation about money is shameful then we may never know how money works and lose it to those who do.

When the rich say, “I’m not the slightest bit interested in money. I just don’t pay any attention to money.  It’s rather vulgar.”

They lie.  They lie.  They lie.

My Mother

Breakfast with John this morning at Cecconi’s.  We ate oatmeal, which is American for porridge.  Actually just milled oats with hot milk rather than the creamy, steaming, slow cooked porridge of my youth.   Served this morning-like a desert-with strawberry jam!  Yuk.

I was telling him about the long relationships that I have had with women.  I have always identified as gay but recently, after rehab and therapy I am coming to other conclusions.  Gayish maybe.  I don’t know.  ‘It’s complicated’ as they say on Facebook.

My relationships with women, as with Jennie on the show, have always been incredible romances.

I have loved women more than I ever loved me.

That was a Freudian slip.  I meant to write men.  But it’s true; I have always loved women more than men or me.

The woman that I have loved the most have been highly intelligent, powerfully articulate, always incredibly beautiful and sexually submissive.   The most recent being the editor of a highly regarded magazine.  I refer to all my past female lovers as my ex wives.

To understand these relationships I’d best explain the relationship I had with my mother.

My relationship with my mother was intensely emotional.  Remember, she too was held hostage in our ‘family’ by my violent step-father.  Consequently, I became her escape, her confidant, her secret affair.  On the bus to Canterbury I said, “I’m not your boyfriend!”  For the remainder of the journey we both sat in silence, shocked that I had articulated what had, until that moment, been our terrible secret. I was 12 years old!  In lieu of a loving husband or a loving father we loved each other absolutely, unswervingly.  She would confide in me, when we were on our own, that there was only us, no one else existed.  Just her and me.  That if she could she would run away with me.  This emotional incest laid the groundwork for the intensity I seek out with women.

Sexual violence I seek from men. I always find it.

Even though I have had long relationships with men, I devalue these relationships when I compare them to the relationships that I have had with women.

The truth is my mother and I never escaped.  She stayed married to my step father and endured his constant punishment.  I escaped into madness and addiction.

I still find it very difficult to forgive her.  She is a sweet and simple woman who really did her best to make a terrible life better for all of us.  However, knowing what I know now would it have been so terribly hard for her to put my brothers and I onto the bus and somehow get away?

I don’t believe that all gay men are born gay.

I know that this thinking sets me at odds with the majority of the gay community and many, many straight men.  Saying that, I don’t believe that there is a cure for homosexuality – as once the dye is cast our sexuality seems inevitable.

There is no evidence that gay to straight rewiring or reorientation actually works.

However, gay men who live with and marry women are of course far more prevalent than we like to admit.  But should these relationships be discounted?  Both Oscar Wilde and Vita Sackville-West had incredibly loving relationships with both their spouse and a member of the same sex.  Indeed, Oscar’s love letters to his wife are as beautiful and compelling, if not more so, than his letters to his male lover.  Vita’s profound love for her husband provided a springboard from which she would leap into a previously unimagined same sex world.

Again, in my experience of having relationships with women, women were far more accepting of my behavior than one would like to believe and tended to stick by me even after multiple same sex indiscretions.   When I have had relationships with women, women who knew that I had preferences for men, they tended to overlook the past and focus on a future that we might share together.

Most gay men who identify as gay are born gay.  However, a few men (and I count myself among them) are sexualized at an early age.   I am plagued with this question:  If I had not been so badly abused as an infant would I have become gay?

There are many varieties of gay.

Men who own to same sex desires later on in life endure accusations that they were merely in denial: minimizing their life’s journey.

Mother in Malibu garden

The group of men who seem to cause the most distress to both straight and gay men are those who genuinely seem to have sexual choice and act accordingly.    Same sex experimentation amongst straight men, despite rowdy protestations, occurs more frequently that any of us like to acknowledge.

As I have written before we, as a society, are incredibly prescriptive about the sexual identification of others.    Supposedly, once a man has crossed the sexual Rubicon he is damned.   Bullshit.  If only these sexual prescribers applied the same rational to female sexuality.   But how can they?  When straight men persuade women to act out lesbian fantasies have these women now become forever lesbians at the behest of heterosexual men?

All of my work as an artist has sought to understand, rework and revisit my initial trauma.  This now feels, after therapy, like a terrible indulgence.  Yet, to let it go..what am I left with?  The future seems very bleak without this grotesque narrative.

PS  My mother visited me after my grandmother died. It was uncomfortable for both of us but we got though it.  When the big dog was killed I called her crying but I felt like I was crying to a woman I no longer knew.

In the words of Tennessee Williams: Time is the greatest distance between two people.

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