There’s a party thrown every Wednesday night in Provincetown called Fag Bash. I popped in late last night. It’s perhaps the best $5 you can spend in this little town. It seems that everyone (crammed in the tiny dark basement) takes hours applying meticulous makeup and dressing in gorgeous goth/romantic costume. Thick black eye liner, masks and glittering lipstick. Organza capes, knitted horns for devilish girls and boys, a carnival of creative wonder.
This procession begins weaving its way up Commercial Street at 10 o’clock and back again, disheveled and drunken, after the decadent party in the wee hours. It’s so heartening and invigorating to see. Inspiring! I’m going to dress up next week. Count me in. She’ll make an appearance. I promise you.
Thank God for Fag Bash! Earlier, yesterday evening, I had to sit through perhaps the worst gay themed film… ever. Tom Dolby and Tom Williams’s co-directed travesty: Last Weekend.
Billionaire, Tom Dolby is the Dolby sound system heir. In lieu of any real talent he has bought himself a free pass into the film industry. Last Weekend is his debut film made after the crashing disaster of his first novel… I’m assuming another vanity project? Tom embraces the ‘right to fail’. Why not? Tom and his husband and their two surrogate daughters have nothing to worry about. It really doesn’t matter how miserable their artistic endeavors… because money is no object.
Co-Directors Tom and Tom arrived at the opening night screening wearing their crisp navy/cream linen suits, their Hollywood team in tow… their ‘award winning’ producers, their manager; my old friend Danny Halstead and their leading lady Patricia Clarkson. Tom introduces the film with a sullen one liner and so it began… the dirge.
After a confusing opening moment… Clarkson gazing wistfully, maybe perplexed (perhaps she has cataracts) over Lake Tahoe, family members arrive for Memorial Day Weekend. They are served by a phalanx of miserable latino staff. There are bad jokes about celebrity, alcoholism and how ‘crazy’ Clarkson’s character is. The pace is languorous and indulgent, the characters are clichéd and increasingly… unwatchable.
After twenty minutes the roof of The Provincetown Town Hall begins to sag with disappointment. Members of the audience leave. Feet shuffle, somebody drops their change.
Patricia Clarkson is an accomplished actress, yet in Last Weekend she is left flailing, undirected, spewing appalling lines in badly constructed scenes. Left to her own devices… she resorts to pleading hand gestures (elephant’s testicles) and shrill, post menopausal delivery. The director of photography does her no favors with unflattering close-ups and clumsy framing. I felt so sorry for the actors. Trapped in trite scene after trite scene. Forced to act out the life of the writer/director… was it shot in the Dolby family lake house?
Heartless, bereft of emotion, contrived.
My friend, the talented actor Zachary Booth plays a screen writer… obviously Dolby. Yes, another film about a conflicted writer. Why can’t these people have real jobs? Lazy writing by rich, entitled, white gay men. Neither director seems to have any compassion for their characters, just as they had no compassion for the Provincetown audience. This film is terrible and no amount of Dolby gay millions could save it.
These two local events (Fag Bash and The Provincetown Film Festival) serve as a metaphor for gay life in the USA. On the streets and in the bars the club kids are brimming with creative genius, embracing modernity. Wearing their extraordinary costumes they stand in opposition to mediocrity. Last Weekend is what affluent, heteronormative, white gays serve up as ‘gay culture’. My fear is that the obscenely rich and bourgeois Tom Dolby and his terrible film will be used as evidence for what queer life is like now rather than the vibrant party thrown by the disenfranchised in the dingy Fag Bash basement.
Here is petulant Zac Bissonnette, shaking down a pig for Glamour magazine. His new book, Good Advice From Bad People, is a collection of poorly collated quotes by people we would rather forget.
Gay Benoit is a brilliant writer, why he lauds Zac Bissonnette is a mystery to me. Unless… of course… Gay Zac’s flaxen hair and youthful spirit and perfect teeth… no… that just couldn’t be.
Anyway, I read the essay by Zac that Benoit posted on his ‘wall’ and frankly… it wasn’t very good. So. I said. Under the post… in the comments section: ‘this isn’t very good’.
Zac, in-between reading Facebook, counting the money that will keep him from moving in with his parents if everything fails, moisturizing his perfect creamy skin, preening his immaculate coiffeur and appropriating Bernie Madoff quotes… found the time to have an old-fashioned shit fit. Apparently, not uncommon for Zac.
It turns out he is the Veruca Salt of financial self-help. You remember her? The demanding, selfish little kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who wants an Oompa Loompa but ends up with an ever lasting gob stopper.
Like most arrogant, entitled white american gays Zac didn’t take my mild criticism very well. Within an hour or two Zac had sifted through the internet declaring me bankrupt, running a bad business and a bunch of other ‘designed to shame’ comments. The one that pissed me off… you know, after having been abused for so many years, was his unsubstantiated accusation that I could be a child molester.
So. This is who we are dealing with. Zac gets some mild criticism and decides to accuse me of fucking children.
He is typical of his generation: young, white gay men. I meet them all the time. Prone to tantrums, relying on their good looks and minimal talent. When challenged they accuse anyone over 40 of pedophilia. They have run out of credible insults. Accusing a gay man of pedophilia masks two horrible truths. Firstly, people like Zac are terminally ageist. Secondly, puerile Zac feels ‘abused’ by anyone he considers stupid enough to challenge his ideal self.
He accuses me of pedophilia because he thinks of himself as an innocent little boy. He feels my criticism like he imagines a child feels a rapists penis. He suffers from crippling denial, like many gay men, denial that he is no longer a child and terrified that he will become an old man. After all, what is he without his youth? This particular denial runs rampant throughout his poorly educated, right-wing generation.
Not taking his pedophile accusations very well I challenged Zac on twitter to say publicly what he had accused me of privately. He rather wisely refused. He told me I was harassing him… even though he had contacted me! Then, after a change of heart, he told me that he wanted to talk to me. He said, “I think it’s better by phone. . . I promise I’m really nice on the phone.” He gave me his home phone number but told me not to call him at 3am. Here is his number for those of you who might want to get to know Zac better… lolz… do you dare me?
I’m not going to call Zac Bissonnette… because he is an idiot. How much of an idiot? Check his ‘financial advice’ in Glamour magazine. Advice so moronic and condescending only a man in a tight gray tee-shirt could have gotten away with it. Perhaps the folk at Glamour thought Zac’s pecs would distract women from what he had written?
My good advice to you, Zac? From this bad person? Grow the fuck up.
There is a moment when you know it’s over. That his proximity disgusts you. That no amount of love can disguise what was or what could be. These photographs were taken at the moment, the moment I knew for sure. The fast train to Paris from Cannes. A beautiful boy sat opposite me and I wanted to ravish him. I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to the loved one. Yet, I knew, the moment we parted I would not stop thinking of him. From the moment I woke up to the moment I fell into a fitful sleep. Gone, the door slammed. He was dead to me long before I made it impossible for him to do anything but take drastic measures. It was the worst kind of grief because nobody died…
Monday morning. Brooklyn. The end of this particularly hard winter is nowhere in sight. In LA the sun shines over the glittering sea, in London my friends post pictures of balmy evenings in St James Park. I run from our place to sit in crowded coffee shops. I’m writing under a pseudonym nowadays for publications that love paying him/her but would never pay me. Funny. Doing what writers have always done: assuming different names for different opinions, different styles, different genres. Consequently, I don’t get to write my blog very often… as I traverse the continent once a month. From sea to shining sea. No one understands why I love driving 2,800 miles twice over once a month… but I do. The last trip was short and sweet. I stayed in LA a few days then drove back over the Rockies and into a 50 car wreck on the i80 a hundred miles east of Chicago on the Ohio Turnpike. Trapped on the side of the road for ten hours with two patient dogs and so many bad christian radio stations. Badly educated, right-wing bigots on the radio. Wondering out loud how they will roll back the rights of women and gays and undocumented workers, how they will keep hold of their white America. The America their ancestors battled to tame. I think about those early Americans very often as I drive over the Rockies, the hardship they suffered, the dreams they had… the cruelty they inflicted on those who lived on the land they took and the slaves they owned.
I tried sleeping in the car. Minus 6 degrees. Occasionally fellow travelers would stop by to see if we were okay. They offered cookies and consolation.
I’ve been with my boy for 8 months. We cook at home and watch bad make over TV. Every day our situation gets stronger as we over come our own and the prejudices of others. I realized that most of my male gay friends are single, even the ones with the best pedigrees. The ones who are good-looking and sweet and a ‘good catch’. I, of course, am none of those things. I am the bullet you need to dodge. That’s what they say. But the gays are eager to diss all of their friends burgeoning relationships. They are disparaging about anyone who may not be ‘ideal’. This ideal that keeps them single and lonely. They look at me sadly when they find out how old L is as if I am deluding myself that my relationship could ever work. Did I think it would work? Well, not in some fairy tale way, not the way gay writers write the perfect arrangement… the ideal. We muddle through, we miss each other when we are apart, we fight occasionally but not as much as we did when we first met. All in all, I’m happy and feel love from him and let my love flow… to him. That’s occasionally a very confusing and baffling thing for me. To let myself be loved.
In Des Moines, I met Kookie Kardashian… the morbidly obese (500lb), hirsute… older sister of Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian. She is the least known of the KKK Klan. Drinking alone in a dump of a hotel bar, reruns of KUWTK playing on the flickering TV above the tequila selection, staring absently into a soupy pina colada. Text messages remained unanswered as she pulls at her thin mustache. I introduce myself, she says she appreciates the company. Apparently, when the cameras are in her Calabasas house Kris makes her leave with the undocumented servants. Kris pokes her with a stick. Kookie said that Ryan Seacrest called her a ‘fat cunt’, that if she wanted to be on the show she should ‘get a fucking lap band’. Kookie, blinded by grief, drinks herself regularly into a blackout. She commandeered Kanye’s jet and took it to Iowa. Her brushed denim and patent leather Fendi bag stuffed with cash. If she loses the weight… Kris promised her that she and Rob can have their own show.
She told me she misses her dad.
Has anyone been watching the OWN Lindsay Lohan ‘documentary’? That girl is OUT OF HER MIND. A world without consequence will do that to you. A world where nobody has the guts to confront an addict and her worst defects. A world where she believes she is still important or relevant, a world where no one will tell her that death is imminent… like Heath, Phil, River… living in a room stuffed with clothes, jewelry… evidence of active addiction.
Despicably, this tragedy is being manipulated by entertainment industry matriarch Oprah Winfrey… the disingenuous bad mum who knew all along that her little girl would let her down. Oprah’s fake outrage is utterly disgusting.
Philip Seymour Hoffman died this week. The rooms of AA were full of weeping newcomers grieving his death. Finding spurious reasons to hitch their wagon to his hearse. Sober people with many years of sobriety rolled their eyes as crocodile tears drenched the disingenuous faces of people claiming intimate friendship with the deceased film star.
At the Perry Street morning AA meeting the press stood in packs, enduring the frigid February winds waiting for people who might have known PSH. Many were less than discreet and sang like canaries.
The press was awash with sentimental descriptions of Hoffman, endless references to his ‘genius’ ‘talent’ and the ‘tragic waste of life’.
There were long essays by addiction ‘experts’ describing how addicts like Hoffman had no choice, that he was predestined to die with a needle in his arm, that his death symbolized something more in American culture that just the death of a ‘lonely’ junky.
You know, junkies who are taking drugs on the lam tend to isolate. It’s hard to load a syringe, find a vein and discreetly nod off in a room full of people. Especially when you are a household name. He wasn’t lonely, he was alone. He needed to be on his own to conduct his junky life.
The police arrested the guys who allegedly sold Hoffman the heroin. They arrested the wrong people. They should have gone after the directors of the ‘for profit’ treatment center he attended last year. The snake oil sales men who promise relief from active addiction by cosseting addicts in expensive rehabs, re packaging the 12 steps of AA with no chance of long-term sobriety.
Criminal sober people with no interest in helping the desperate addict, just screwing them for the big bucks year after year for short-term relief.
Anyway, he’s dead. Just like thousands of other junkies all over the USA but he gets a fanfare… they get a pauper’s grave and the shame of the addict heaped upon them.
Addicts are selfish, self obsessed monsters. He chose to call his dealer rather than reach out to a sober person. He chose to load his syringe rather than pick his kids up from school.
Now he has a million apologists who think he had no choice at all.
Yesterday I signed up for the NYU AA men’s retreat to be held at Bill W’s house in Massachusetts.
As I walked into the room where the event was being organized the young gay white men with no more than 7 years of sobriety looked imperiously at me. They could scarcely concealed their contempt or their bitchy sneers as I sat down and asked pertinent questions about travel and accommodation.
Their faces began to droop however, as they grasped that there was very little they could do to exclude me from coming to their cozy gay event. The idea they could be trapped at a country retreat with me… for three days filled them with total horror.
The Gay men from the controlling gay AA cabal… who don’t even attend the NYU AA meeting are organizing the event. I’m perfectly sure they went into isolation overdrive. What could they do to get rid of me?
They were texting each other furiously.
We will see what shenanigans they come up with. This is going to be very interesting.
Jon Fortin/Zac Bissonnette
Last Saturday I went to the birthday party of a model publicist at The Skylark on 39th St. It was a dreary affair, too few people bumping around a cavernous space. Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker, a gaggle of ‘event gays’ and some asian women I convinced my friend were rifling his gym bag. Yes, he had his gym bag with him.
After a moment of party remorse I decided to talk to some dull looking gays at the bar. I wasn’t disappointed. They were terrible. Anyhow, I was introduced to one mealy-mouthed homo called Jon. Jon who? Jon Fortin. He told us that he had started and had consequently left the organization GoProud the Republican gay group that represents gay conservatives and their allies.
I thought Jimmy LaSalvia started GoProud? No? Hadn’t he recently renounced his republican affiliation?
Hmmm, Jon Fortin. Name didn’t sound familiar, between cranberry and sodas I snuck away and there on my second screen was Jon Fortin. Google turned up very little about Jon Fortin other than a brief mention in the Gay Blade as a booth helper at the RNC and in his Linkedin profile as a Political Consultant for GoProud, The Whitehouse and John McCain.
He took my number and we met for brunch the following day with my friend Vanessa. The brunch was very enlightening. Firstly, he told us that he had fucked Aaron Schock the republican to whom Itay Hod alluded in some crude Facebook posting but was subsequently roundly discredited.
Jon described how he had picked Aaron up from Dulles airport, taken him to his hotel and fucked him. It was very convincing. My friend and I were both entranced.
Secondly, after brunch… during the boring Super Bowl he took me to one side and with sad eyes and wet mouth revealed that he had left his wallet at home in another coat. As you may know dear readers I really don’t mind paying for lunch but I really mind paying for alcohol.
He left, promising to make it up to me the following day. Yet, when the following day came around he refused to meet me on the east side where I was at my 12.30 AA meeting (listening to PSH stories) preferring a spot near where I lived.
Annoyed that I was being asked to walk 15 blocks through ten inches of wet slush I balked. I told him that it was up to him to come to me as he owed me lunch. After a bit of text argy bargy which included him telling me that I should just forget about how much lunch cost, he decided to leave $72 in dimes at my club which they very kindly processed.
It was an amusing stunt and one that had taken some careful preparation.
He paid his share. I didn’t care if it were in pennies or euros. It was paid. Republicans believe that we are all ultimately responsible for our actions and there are consequences for our mistakes. It was only right that he paid.
That was that… I thought. Until this morning when an unidentified source revealed that rather than ‘political consultant Jon Fortin’ I had in fact fallen foul of Brayden Forrester porn star and hooker.
I Googled Brayden Forrester and my screen was ablaze!
Of course he had ‘lost’ his wallet. Of course he was pissed that I asked him to pay his share. Poor love. I felt rather sorry for him. 30-year-old ex porn star fails to secure free lunch at exclusive club.
I let him know what I knew about his porno past and he called me a train wreck, a psycho, mentally ill, insane. The usual insults. I’m used to them. Yep. Sounds accurate.
Jon. What did you do?
I received calls from the gays. Don’t blog about him… it will ruin his life. Ruin his life? How?
In my humble opinion the truth will set Jon Fortin free. He should shamelessly embrace his Brayden past. The gays love a good porn star and Brayden knows how to take a big cock/load. CHECK IT OUT BITCHES. He’s far more interesting to me as Brayden than he ever will be as Jon. Most gays agree. Lance Black only benefitted from those X Rated pics of him getting fucked… in the ass… without protection.
My unfortunate encounter with Jon/Brayden reminded me of the equally repugnant/misguided writer gay: Zac Bissonnette, author of the perfectly revolting and poorly written book How To Be Richer, Smarter, and Better Looking Than Your Parents. Yes, he really wrote a book with that title.
This elitist prick became infuriated when I mentioned on Facebook that he didn’t write particularly well to my friend Benoit Denizet-Lewis. This solicited from Zac the sort of invective only the gays have ever reserved for me.
Zac trolled the internet and after reading vile and libelous comments left by anonymous queens… repeated them back to me as facts. Accusing me of being a pedophile, trying to shame me for filling for bankruptcy, suggesting that I deserved to be in jail, he reminded me that I am old and ugly. You know, the usual gay shit.
Smelling a delicious and potentially lucrative law suit I urged Bissonnette to make the pedophile accusation public. Of course… he refused. “Without proof I would never say that publicly, do you think I’m an idiot?” He minced.
Yes, I think you’re an idiot… Zac.
Zac (like Jon) believes that unless you are living a life that almost exactly replicates his with his specific design for gay living you may as well be dead. In an attempt at peacemaking Zac offered an olive branch but it’s kind of hard to forgive a man who accuses you groundlessly of fucking children.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, a woman I know sent me a revolting picture of a skinned, live puppy attempting to escape a pot of boiling water.
The similarities between these two emails far outweigh the differences.
Black, known to his friends simply as Lance has been around my life as long as we have both been making gay films. Despite how we have been described, Lance and I are NOT friends. Never have been, never will be.
Recently, Lance’s films have fallen by the wayside. His famous friends and perfect Hollywood pedigree can not augment his startling lack of talent. Despite the luxury of many recuts his film Virginia remains almost unwatchable. One of his producers told me that Lance cannot and should not direct.
He claims that he loves my British Academy Award nominated film AKA. Yet, for all his ‘love’ of my work… he and me have never really connected. I’m not… a) a young blonde boy, b) a Hollywood grandee, c) interested.
Like so many gay men in Hollywood he is ruthlessly ambitious.
Lance Black (born to the Morman faith) is an affluent, white, gay man. I stress this because it defines who he is as a so-called gay activist.
We see each other at gay apartheid (white only) parties in the Hollywood Hills. I am usually the plus one.
He lives in a nice house on Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood. It is sparsely decorated. For all his riches Lance lives a frugal life. One might say the house lacks imagination which is odd for such an imaginative man. One of the bedrooms in his humble home is reserved for the two surrogate children he is planning in his not so distant future.
The only fly in the ointment? He will not have children unless married. Sadly, his seeming inability (like so many gay men in Hollywood) to keep just one man, a man to marry… the bassinets remain empty. He is drawn predominantly to much younger gay men. The subject of child rearing, when discussed, often leads to amicable separation.
It seems that Lance may have found in Tom Daley a young man he can marry who shares his desire for an immediate family. Let’s wish him all the best and that child-birth comes quickly… he doesn’t want to be an old dad, too old to play football with his young child.
Lance’s pre occupation with a nuclear family is at odds with how I would determine an activist. But Lance is no ordinary activist. He passionately wants for all gays to perfectly ape what heterosexuals seem to have. Nothing less than full integration will do. He fights vehemently for the gays to participate in the traditionally right-wing institutions of marriage and the military.
He hangs primarily with a gang of affluent white men who share similar mores.
Gay activists like Lance Black were quick to blame California’s African-American voters for the defeat of Proposition 8, the anti gay marriage amendment. People for the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert, criticized “the speed with which some white gay activists began blaming African Americans—sometimes in appallingly racist ways.”
Black is wedded to right-wing gay organization the HRC who once famously refused to support the rights of trans people then issued a groveling apology. Not learning from their white gay mistakes the HRC recently silenced the voices of trans and queer undocumented activists outside the Supreme Court during the DOMA Supreme Court decision, again… apologizing after the fact.
The gays at the HRC, it seems, have a very narrow view of sexuality. The LGBTQ coalition leaves many affluent, white gay men feeling uneasy and confused. Unsurprisingly, like so many gay men, Lance questions the legitimacy of bisexuality. A nettle the gays prefer not to grasp…
Read more about the dark practices of the HRC here.
“In recent years, HRC has been working to contradict its former reputation as an organization overly focused on issues of concern to affluent white gay men, combating long-simmering charges of transphobia within the organization.”
When Lance first started calling himself an activist and regularly going to Washington to meet President Obama I bumped into him at Cafe Solar de Cahuenga on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood. Solar is a tatty south American coffee shop/restaurant popular amongst young actors and writers within sight and sound of the busy 101 Freeway.
I praised him for his film Milk which he valiantly produced and won an Oscar for writing. I didn’t ask him about the controversy whirling around the gay gossip vortex in which we are both hapless victims.
Amongst the back stabbing gays his success and authenticity were being questioned.
Hadn’t he stolen the Milk project from another gay producer? Did he in fact write the script that won him the Oscar? Some people said that Ron Nyswaner had in fact written the final script that Gus shot? The gays told me that he took his Oscar everywhere. That he couldn’t put it down. They scoffed that he used his power and prestige within the gay community to snare impressionable young boys. They said that he should have been wearing a condom when he was fucking his ‘boyfriend’ in the infamous shots of Lance with a cock in his ass… if he was at all interested in being an ‘activist’ he should have been wearing a condom. They said that he should practice what he preached. They said that the original documentary about Harvey Milk was far better than the film.
Harvey Milk made Lance Black famous. What Milk would have made of Black personally… I wonder. What Black would have thought of Milk if he had met him contemporaneously… I wonder. Milk was a charismatic, bombastic, driven, older jewish man. Lance channels Milk’s political inclusivity when he claims that all he wants to do is ‘give people hope’, this wholesale appropriation of Milk’s legacy… sticks somewhat in the caw.
Lance hangs with Milk’s contemporary and true activist Cleve Jones. Lance riding Cleve’s activist coat tails? Cleve seduced by Hollywood glamour?
What kind of political activist is Dustin Lance Black?
Whilst whistle blower and trans hero Pvt. Chelsea Manning rots in jail, ‘activist’ Lance Black lead the ‘human rights’ charge on The Castro for San Francisco Pride. SF Pride chose to controversially exclude Manning from the official Pride demonstration in fear of upsetting Pride’s corporate donors.
Back in Hollywood, Lance sits writing on his own in the middle of the coffee shop sipping green tea. Everyone could see him there. We talked about British equality legislation fashioned by Waheed Ali. I told Lance about British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. He seemed enthralled by Peter’s unique brand of direct action so I organized an introduction. When the time came for him to meet with Peter… Lance bailed.
I sent a dismissive note.
We didn’t speak again until he started dating a dear friend of mine who was at that time living at my home.
My friend is perhaps one of the sweetest man I know. Kind, considerate, thoughtful, intelligent, curious and recently out of the closet. In fact, history repeating itself, my friend came out for Lance. My friend made the first move.
Knowing that my friend was falling for Lance I tried to stay as impartial as I possibly could. It didn’t last long. I was furious. I was supportive and kind for as long as I could be. I asked Lance over to the house for his new boyfriend’s birthday lunch. Lance bailed.
During the next few months of their relationship I watched my friend fall apart. My friend started therapy. He was torn and confused and miserable.
At one particular gay pool party Lance rudely left without telling my dear sweet friend that he was leaving. Lance ended up at another Hollywood party, at Roland Emerich’s surrounded by more young boys.
My friend was distraught.
Thankfully, when Lance took my friend to The White House he didn’t bail. They ran around with Don Lemons stealing Christmas cookies. They had access all areas. They hung in the Oval office. My friend was delighted to see history being made… for affluent white gay people.
I maintained my impartiality.
I have no opinion about Lance and Tom. Sadly, others do.
Tom Daley is being scolded in the bully chat rooms by the petit bourgeois gays for ‘making the first move’ as if his teenage innocence and delight can be construed as a devious attempt at star fucking.
The British public love Tom Daley and they will not let him get hurt or tangled in anything other than a relationship they deem appropriate. For the time being they will give Lance Black the benefit of the doubt. I am sure that the British press will keep tabs on Lance. If he thinks for one gay moment that he can get away with any duplicitous behavior around Tom Daley… he had better think again.
The problem is: no one expects gay men to have morals, or stick to the rules. Gay white affluent man have written their own rules and nobody dares question them. They have become a super elite, their access to the world stage unparalleled. But with wider acceptability comes broader scrutiny.
Elton John once said in front of me, “10 gay men run the world… and I know all of them.”
Tom Daley is a beloved young British boy. We may begin to see this corrupt, elite gay world through his teenage eyes. It is a shadowy world of sexual un-manageability, pedophilia and other unsavory obsessions.
It is not what the elite gays want you to know, whilst they paint a public picture of themselves that makes them seem… just like you.
I spent most of last week staying with friends on Fire Island.
The Island community has all but vanished for the season. I spent my time writing and rewriting the script… exploring abandoned holiday houses and taking pictures of them.
I walked most days to the Canteen, a little coffee shop, and sat with a dwindling cast of island stragglers.
When I returned to the city I moved into my glorious apartment on Gramercy Park.
I am having a very Manhattan experience. Doormen, broken elevators, great views, little old lady neighbours.
The best thing about this apartment? It’s so damned cheap.
Returned to see Rufus Wainwright and support a friend’s charity.
I hung at SPiN with Franck and ate sliders and spicy chicken.
I was invited to the RRL Motorcycle party and sank into a mire of Americana.
Occasionally I would take the L to Brooklyn and see old friends.
All in all it has been a very easy return to Manhattan. Heading East. Heading in the right direction.
At some point I walked the dogs and eventually I made it to my bed.
The thrupple, along with the cult of Daddy, was a recurring theme throughout the summer.
Three men glued into a happy relationship, usually two older and a younger man working out the sort of relationship most people (straight and gay) might find not only convenient but also very rewarding.
My friend W met and fell for a couple he met on Fire Island and they have since become a thrupple. I like the word… don’t you? It’s as easy on the lips as wimple, one of my favorite words.
Robert arrived from London with his two boyfriends. My friend Fernando lives with two men in one large bed in LA. This, of course, is not a new phenomenon. Derek Jarman introduced me to three beautiful boys who lived on Shaftesbury Avenue in the early 80’s. I was entranced.
I find a relationship with one person nearly impossible, the idea of loving two men… well.
That’s just greedy isn’t it?
The cult of Daddy suits me just fine. The older man mentoring and investing in a younger man seems to have a superb historical provenance.
“He’s a semi gay, he needs my help to open a gym on Long Island. He’s very happy to see me and spend time with his girl friend.”
The big winners in this recent gay perestroika have been bi sexual and more sexually fluid folk. Curiosities become realities. The beginning of a seismic social shift in this country.
One the ‘other side’ is desperate to quash. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
This sexual revolution, because that is what it truly is, is not allied to any left-wing or socialist principle like it is in Europe. There is an American entitlement and arrogance built into the process.
‘I can have what I want when I want it. If they are getting something good… I want it too.’
The gay white, male lifestyle with its glamour, easy money, few rules of conduct, social mobility etc. is very alluring to many young heterosexual men. Especially for the poor, the disenfranchised and the beautiful.
We have learned to communicate with them and without the veil of shame or potential violence in tow they have come to us for advice and succour.
Straight women rarely compliment men. They never tell them they are good-looking, that what they are wearing is attractive, that they recognize the effort men have gone to.
Gay men are good at complimenting straight men.
They blush like girls. It’s only a moment, it seems, before a blush turns into something hot and heavy. If only for a moment.
The political conversation has shifted for thinking gays in the USA. Conservative organizations like the HRC lead by the lamentable Chad Griffin are forced to become more radical. They have achieved their wish for some partial, piecemeal marriage equality. Though the legislation is hardly a road map to equality for all Americans.
Women and black people are still second class citizens in the USA.
At dinner last night, three gay men and three lesbians. Between them they could not identify one female leader of industry. They could not identify one black leader of industry. The CEO of Yahoo was the closet we got.
The only other woman to be mentioned within this context was Martha Stuart but the very mention of her name unleashed a torrent of misogynistic vitriol from an older gay man.
I got to thinking about the Third Reich, we were discussing Yom Kippur, we were discussing the Germans. We were discussing the gays in the concentration camps and it suddenly dawned on me. The answer to a question that had been bugging me for decades: How were there so many gay men in the SS yet the camps were full of gays and lesbians?
Of course, we are seeing the same thing now. An elite corp of rich, white gay men with profoundly right-wing values who would gladly imprison people like me with radical, left-wing ideas.
The concentration camps were full of undesirable gays. The trannies, the butch dykes, the trouble makers who didn’t see things Hitler’s way.
No wonder the trans community are fighting particularly hard to be recognized, respected and their freedom to be acknowledged. Yet, unsprisingly there is a push back from the elite white gay men… as if the trans are spoiling the party.
Remember as you celebrate your so called equality… it is still possible to be fired from your job for being a gay or lesbian if you live in one of 35 states. In 45 states you can be fired for being a transsexual or by redefining your gender or simply wearing clothes that are generally supposed to be worn by the opposite sex.
The elite white gays are not interested in trans people, black people (unless used as sex toys), women, poor people or inclusivity.
The moment they achieved some sort of parity they turned their backs on the coalition of outsiders who had helped them achieve their equality aims.
My idea of hell: A White Gay President.
Last night we cooked dinner, we ate pork. We walked to the tea dance.
Later, I looked on-line to see what was going on. I lay in bed I wondered how long it would take for the right wing gay elite to look upon the left wing noisy gays… the anti establishment truth tellers as undesirables and start freezing them out. Throwing them into jail, silencing them? Like they did to Peter Tatchell in the UK.
My guess is, this is already happening… my guess is… this is happening to me.
This morning, before dawn, I began wondering about the Supreme Court DOMA and Prop 8 outcome… as the sun rose over the mountain I considered how important the result seems to so many people.
Marriage Equality. Something I had grown used to ignoring. The idea. The idea of getting married. An alien notion.
Yet, many ordinary American people seem to really care very deeply that people like me can get married.
Gay men tell me, those most affected by DOMA… that they feel like second class citizens. How is that so? Will they feel like first class citizens now? As we acquiesce into existing institutions.
I wondered about the justices. Our elders. Those making sweeping decrees about our lives in this litigious country.
Congress and the Senate hog tied by dogma, unable to make any sort of decision.
They announced on the morning news that DOMA was overturned. Eight white people stood on the steps of the Suprem Court and held their hands up jubilantly… victoriously. Melissa Etheridge said she was proud to be an American. A white man said that this would change the lives of gay people ‘all over the world’. Don Lemons took his camera crew into a gay bar. “If you’ve never been inside a gay bar before, this is what it looks like.” The cameras ambled in. There were a few white lesbians in their mid fifties and a drag queen playing a piano.
I started ranting on Facebook and Twitter.
I said: ‘I’m remembering queer hero Bradley Manning. He will have to get married in jail. The issues of privacy, hegemony and cruelty remain. Monsanto et al can breathe a sigh of relief as this gay issue deflects attention from them. This may be a great day for lgbtq Americans… unless you are black or a woman. Those inequalities still remain.’
I quoted a friend from Arizona: “I’ve felt second class or less than my straight contemporaries every day of my life growing up in the US. Guess you would have to have been born and raised here to understand Duncan”.
There seems to be a great deal riding on this DOMA decision. Self Esteem, A First Class Life, Equality.
He was, however, the first person to confirm what I always feared. That some gay men compare their lives to the lives of straight people and despair… they despair that they are not as valued as straight people. It made me sad.
I knew in my heart that DOMA would be overturned. “You’ve got to give them hope.” Harvey Milk said. This is the hope. After a week of catastrophic decisions for those interested in civil rights: the evisceration of voting rights, work place bullying condoned, Monsanto unchallenged. It has been a catastrophic week in America for whistle blowers… for the truth… for the constitution. In Florida it’s a bad week for young black men gunned down for no good reason.
Today was a great day to be pink washed.
A great day to set aside your disappointments for a moment and celebrate.
I was 15 when that album was released.
I sat on the terrace listening to the piano echo through the canyon. I celebrated my single life.
I am not, any time soon, going to get married. I am not, any time soon, going to propose to anyone. I am not, any time soon, going to sweep another man off his feet.
Whilst so many around me are.
After a day of fury yesterday I feel much calmer today.
The great thing about anger management? Legitimate anger. I have good reason to be angry.
Yesterday was a very angry day. The neighbors started building their un-permitted retaining walls at 6am. They are meant to start at 7am. This isn’t the first time I have been woken by them earlier than they are permitted. I stood on the deck and screamed. The white contractor called me an asshole. I said, “This asshole is going to shit in your face.” The Mexicans laughed. The white guy looked horrified. “Where’s your permit? ” I demanded. They downed tools until 8am.
I drove to Venice. I was knocked into by a young woman eager to get to the counter at GTA. She apologized but it wasn’t good enough. I said, “This is what’s wrong with your country, you’ll knock over anyone to get what you want.”
The perfectly revolting British Tara Summers arrived for lunch. Her friend asked me to move my car. I threw the keys at her and told her to move it herself.
My lunch arrived. Pork Belly sandwich. I sat opposite a 30’s something guy in a suit with his 60’s something dad. They were enjoying the day. I prayed that they didn’t speak to me but they wanted to talk about the dogs. I kept my answers short. Then the personal questions came. Where are you from? What do you do? How long have you lived here? So, knowing that I was not in the best mood to have any conversation I asked what he did here in LA. He was a public prosecutor.
I couldn’t believe my luck. There was the father and son, a young black man sitting on his own and me with the dogs in the court-yard eating our lunch.
I couldn’t help myself. I asked if he knew the corrupt and rabid prosecutors I had to deal with. He did not.
I told him that I knew a prosecutor called Todd R (now an entertainment lawyer) who would get blown by hookers at lunch time when he was prosecuting in court. Leaving the courtroom to break the law. Prosecuting others then breaking the law himself.
His father laughed.
I looked directly into the younger man’s eyes. “Have you got morals?” I asked him.
His father said, “I used to spank him.”
“You might have spanked him for not wanting to join the KKK.” I said. They laughed. They thought I was joking.
The lawyer was intrigued. “Why do you ask?’
“Because 80% of the prison population are black.” I said. “I wonder how you live with yourself.”
“How do you live with yourself when you know the jails have become mental hospitals nursed by sadists?”
Then I started a tirade that lasted a good five minutes. I covered as much ground as I could, including work place discrimination and the essential difference between the rights of straight and gay people. I asked him if he had ever considered the differences? I asked him if he had ever considered anyone other than himself and his own needs?
I ended with, “I’ve been radicalized by your country.” He looked taken aback, “Are you a Muslim?” I smiled into his dumb, entitled face. “No. I’m queer. I am a radical queer.”
I met a boy on Grindr. We had coffee.
I can’t remember where I went next but we all ended up (me, Lily and Chuck) in Duke’s eating $3 tacos.
There are so many straight people on our side. There are lots who are not.
Remember gays and lesbians. We would not have won this battle without the help of others. People with no stake in this fight other than your happiness.
Now, go help those not so fortunate as they have helped you.
My inaugural letter from America is sent at a time when American secrets and lies take center stage.
I’m staying in Petrolia, Northern California, eleven hours from my home in Los Angeles with Daisy Cockburn, the daughter of Emma Tennant and political journalist and contrarian Alexander Cockburn who sadly died last year. I am writing at his desk overlooking his wild and beautiful garden. Alexander Cockburn, like his friend Noam Chomsky, would have slammed the US government for the actions of the NSA recently revealed by Edward Snowden.
Whilst I am amused by the audacious lengths government will go to hold onto its own secrets while harvesting yours… he was not. Like this present generation of internet babies… I have never valued secrets. I am an open book. I have always believed that everything I am is yours.
Do you remember the biggest secret you had to keep? You know, the queer secret?
When I realized I was different, that my sexual/social narrative did not correspond with those around me, I was baffled as to how I should make the difference known. I was just a child. I did not ‘come out of the closet’. I didn’t understand why I should make a big emotional announcement. I decided that I wouldn’t tell anyone. My actions would speak louder than words. It was up to them, those around me, to frame the reveal. Not me.
It was obvious that being queer, telling people that I was queer during the 1970’s… was like letting off a bomb. It was an act of terrorism. For some, it still is. Holding my lover’s hand in the street… a rebellion.
So, instead of having a difficult conversation with my secular loved ones about my sexuality, I spoke openly about my same-sex desires, my plans and my heroes. They looked askance but they got used to it… or else. I was a teenage whistleblower.
There is nothing more honorable than being a whistleblower.
This month, two extraordinary whistleblowers are top of the news. Queer hero Bradley Manning and straight hero Edward Snowden. Manning is currently on trial in a semi-secret military kangaroo court and unlikely ever to be released. The other brave whistleblower, Edward Snowden, a fugitive in Hong Kong, unlikely to see his country of origin ever again.
My gay brothers and sisters in the USA have, on the most part, turned their back on Bradley Manning citing his law breaking as treasonous. Maligning his motives, distancing themselves from his gay story. Manning’s narrative is bound up with the recently abandoned DADT, a messy ‘coming out’, Manning’s extreme family poverty and the witnessing of cruel and illegal horrors that no man should ever see.
Manning has unwittingly created a schism in the LGBTQ community, cleaving the queers from the gays. The queers have on the most part embraced Manning, his activism and conscientious objection. The gays have not. The Queers had Manning elected as a San Francisco gay pride parade grand marshal in late April, but the LGBTQ board quickly rescinded the ‘honor’ after a white male gay outcry.
Queer supporters of Manning held demonstrations, crowded a Pride board meeting and packed a community forum all with the hopes of seeing Manning reinstated as a grand marshal. The Pride board has not budged.
Why are the majority of USA gays so repulsed by Manning?
Perhaps if Manning had been a muscular, army guy of the gay-for-pay porn star variety so popular amongst the gays, they may have ‘evolved’ a different point of view. Manning is not that guy. He is small and slight and wan. He joined the army to get an education and ironically ended up educating the whole world.
He is lauded by Michael Moore, Vietnam Vets, heterosexual politicians/presidents and liberal intellectuals all over the world. His actions are widely credited with hastening an American withdrawal from Iraq and the Arab Spring.
To many across the world Bradley Manning is a hero.
Yet, the gay establishment ignore Bradley. He is routinely ignored by the HRC and GLAAD. He is viciously bullied on anonymous gay, online discussion boards. GLAAD would rather honor a homophobic, straight film director rather than one of our brave own.
Many of the USA gays who publicly hate Manning are upper middle-class, affluent white men. They seem embarrassed and angry by his openness, his honesty, his despair. They call him impertinent, arrogant and narcissistic. Yet, had Bradley Manning been a bone fide journalist with a fancy ivy league degree he might have become a hero… or like Edward Snowden who currently enjoys the support of over 100, 000 people on the White House petition page demanding a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.
There is no such petition for Bradley Manning. Bradley was not well-educated… he’s a white trash gay kid with ideas above his rank.
His detractors, formerly closeted gay men, have their own relationship with the truth. By necessity, after years of experience, they have become slick liars, natural spies, covert experts. In their every day life they create the illusion of perfection: socially, physically and sexually. A tribe of American gay men who have an overwhelming urge to be over-achievers. They are clean-cut and conservative in appearance, they throw themselves into their jobs with the same fervency they got through school.
They champion marriage and the military rather than the end of LGBTQ jobs discrimination. They have no interest in helping others in the coalition of oppressed minorities cobbled together by President Obama because they do not consider themselves an oppressed minority.
Why should they? They are white, affluent and male. What’s not to be proud of?
Since I arrived in the USA I have (rather proudly) been subject to not one… but two gagging orders imposed on me by white gay men.
Both ex-intimates, both terrified of having their secret gay lives revealed. Professional white men, a 32-year-old and a 45-year-old. The younger man works for a famous publishing house and is perhaps the most interesting because he supposedly respects the first amendment. The other, a rich businessman caught lying and cheating.
The former was well ensconced in his comfy closet when I first met him, about to be married to a women, living a double life. When I found out about his deception I told him, “Either you tell the woman you are deceiving… or I will.”
When I tell white gay men this story they are outraged. They blame the deceived woman for being dumb. Their thinly veiled misogyny revealed.
“How stupid of her to not realize he was gay.” they scold.
One Saturday morning two years ago he told her he was living a double life. After he came out of the closet he had a great deal of sex with many men then settled down with the man he intends to marry. Free from her sociopathic ex she is now in love with an honest heterosexual. Of course… he demonizes me. She probably does too. No good deed goes unpunished.
Like a lot of over-achieving well-closeted gay men, the publisher operated under the “Best Little Boy in the World” syndrome, a term from Andrew Tobias’ seminal coming-out autobiography of the same name, published in 1973, describing a certain type of middle-to-upper-class gay man.
Gay men are still terrified of the truth: personal or public. Their worst fear when growing up was having their gay truth revealed. We all want to control the message. Nobody wants to be told that they are queer ahead of their own declaration.
Many gay men still behave like small boys grappling with who and what it means to be gay. Scarred by shame, they loathe any queer person who draws negative attention to him/herself in case it tarnishes them or the gay corporation.
They loathe Bradley Manning for outing the nation.
When gay men are ready to tell the truth about being gay they demand recognition and plaudits for doing so. A heroes welcome for coming out of the closet. Yet, after this initial flush of candor, their honesty only extends so far.
Beyond the great revelation there is a darker side to being gay that the gay white elite doesn’t want you to know.
They have gone to extraordinary lengths to make you think we are JUST LIKE YOU. They are still placating their heterosexual parents, school mates and the straight friends who don’t mind them being gay… as long as you don’t do anything gay around me.
The gays don’t want you to know about the meningitis epidemic, the continuing HIV epidemic, they don’t want you to know about their loneliness, their propensity for STDs, the unreasonably high gay adult male suicide rate, the sexual unmanageability, drug taking, racism, sexism, classism, narcissism and ageism that blights the gay ‘community’. They don’t mention how they routinely commodify women’s bodies/reproductive labor so they can have children. They don’t want you to know just how hard it is to be straight acting, to be ‘masc’ or to find themselves remotely attractive when they look in the mirror.
They don’t want you to know that for many LGBTQ… it doesn’t get better.
Manning broke the first rule of the white gay American elite: Don’t rock the boat.
The gay businessman’s gagging order expires early next year and he will, inevitably seek to extend it. The publisher will do the same. The problem is: as they know all too well… the truth is eventually revealed.
I met a man. A medical doctor. He was well put together, handsome, the president of a large gay organization that supposedly represents the interests of the gay community. Our trusted servant. He couldn’t stop crying. Under his well cut trousers he had a permanent needle in his leg for jacking meth. He begged me not to write about him.
I couldn’t make that promise. He is the perfect white gay American metaphor.
In modern America secrets both public and personal are simultaneously considered defending and deflowering at the expense of the constitution. At both micro and macro levels this secretive bipolarity has come to define my stay in the USA.
My final days in Petrolia. I’m home now. The exhausting 11 hour drive.
Stopped in San Francisco for lunch.
We must have climbed the steep hill to Alexander Cockburn‘s Tower ten times a day, getting ready for Daisy’s first paying guests.
Giving succor to the inner butler that lurks within.
Here is the sculpture that decorates the path:
Here are the fossilized fish that decorate the bathroom:
Here are random pictures I failed to publish earlier:
President Obama has third graders announce LGBTQ pride month at the White House. Whose idea was that? Even POTUS looked a little incredulous. Obviously I don’t have any problem with 3rd graders manning the barricades but… perhaps we can have kittens next time… or puppies… or fluffy yellow chicks… or a new born foal?
The gays are in Pride party overdrive. Circuit parties, sex parties, pride events, bear parties, underwear parties, mourning parties, party parties.
When Joe and I lived in The Pines on Fire Island we went, over the years, to various high-octane, drug fueled, over lubricated, semi-naked circuit parties. Yet, however many drugs I took, however great my body was… I still felt alienated. I still experienced a strange, out-of-body disconnect from those men around me. You see, I remember thinking quite clearly that they… GOT IT… and I didn’t. I thought back then… they understand something more about homosexuality than I did… than I do.
Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t looking down my nose at them. I wasn’t feeling superior. I would love to have connected with those men. Like I used to feel connected (high on E) in my mid twenties exploring London (straight) club land. The same heaving mass that miraculously included me. Joyfully, willingly abandoning self, self consciousness terminal uniqueness and dancing as one with a thousand others.
That is what I felt then. This is what I feel now: To have ones life defined by gay circuit parties is simply revolting.
Some people prepare for weeks for Pride, in the gym, tanning, organizing parties, getting the right tickets for the right events. Making sure the drink and the drugs are pre-ordered. Leaving nothing to chance. The last ‘pride’ parade I attended I saw a drunken man defecating in the street. It was not the enduring image of LGBTQ solidarity after which I was hankering.
There is a hideous disconnect between the civil rights we demand and the public face of ‘pride’. A parade of semi naked gyrating narcissists. How can anyone take that seriously? Pride simply reinforces the difference between me and them: I do not drink or take drugs. I am not driven (compelled) by my homosexuality.
The parade terrifies me. Aesthetically. The corporate floats lack ingenuity and wit. The rent boy/sex worker float lacks class. The thongs, the swagger, revealing the lie of Pride. The near identical bodies in various hues. Searching, begging for tiny differences between each naked, muscular physique that may determine the uniqueness, the individuality of just one of these men. Of course, I am excited to see so many out men. But they are all the same. I look at them and, as much as I want to be, I am not attracted to them. I am not attracted to their essence… to their remarkable lack of ego.
The Pride parade is a celebration of sexuality. First and foremost. And I, absurdly, want to fall in love. You see, I proved it. They wanted sex… and I didn’t. I wanted to fall in love… and they didn’t.
“I want to tell you how much I love you.” I whispered.
When I have sex. I tell them to say… I love you. It turns me on. “Even if you don’t mean it.” I was useless then and I am useless now to those gay men at those gay circuit parties because I didn’t want to have sex. I wanted to fall in love. I didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t and they knew it. They could see by the look in my eye that their sexuality terrified me, baffled me. I wanted to fall in love.
That man I loved. After he came out… he told me about the sex he was having with many, many men. He was really good at meeting strange men and having sex with them. His priorities shifted. When we were together and he was in the closet he told me he loved me, he was emotional… the moment he came out he threw his emotional interest in men away. In favour of sex. I wanted to fall in love.
It was my fault. I had this sex genius at my disposal and couldn’t work out how to use what he was brilliant at. When we made love I felt the same disconnect. Out of body. Away.
Pride is a tough word to have appended to any celebration because it means so many different things to so many different people. That’s why I love the LGBTQ Mardi Gras in Sydney, it doesn’t have PRIDE in the title. Mardi Gras is everything you want it to be because Mardi Gras mean nothing to me. Means everything to me.
Mardi Gras implies celebration. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. Even though it eschews the word Pride, on the several occasions I attended… I felt really proud. Proud to be just like them. Just like you. I looked for the similarities and not the differences at: The silly Mardi Gras community events, the Mardi Gras parade, the film festival, the theatre festival, the LGBTQ city art tours… even the leather cruise… something I would never usually do seemed fun and interesting.
It was a gathering of the LGBTQ clan and made no mistake by calling itself something it isn’t. The parade and the party. Mardi Gras was so different from London Pride. London Pride in the 1980’s, was a sombre affair. Men and women. Simply being seen. It was originally held during the miserable months of the British year. Overcast skies. Rain.
London Pride has evolved from a bunch of angry gays and lesbians marching through Westminster (Margaret Thatcher’s back yard) denouncing the infamously homophobic Section 28 to right now and a profoundly different landscape for the LGBTQ community. We have enthusiastically embraced the Blair (credit where credit’s due) government’s equality overhaul and the introduction of legal parity for all citizens of the UK regardless of gender.
London Pride is a deserved celebration… but it was earned. It’s not my cup of tea. But it was earned. If it isn’t your cup of tea… what is? What does this old queer want?
Somewhere between the seriousness of a civil rights march and the celebration of Mardi Gras there is a parade I want to attend. There’s a parade I want to join where all men and women are respected and nurtured regardless of age, sexuality and religion. Let me know if you find that Parade because I’ll be there… to hold your hand.
I let the dogs out into the beautiful garden. The Little Dog caught and killed a large rat in the orchard. Dude tore it out of his mouth and shook it until its guts were all over his red fur. They looked very pleased with their murderous selves.
Daisy and I huffed and puffed up the steep hill to The Tower. Her father collaborated with local craftsman to build this beautiful space. Originally built to disguise two ten thousand gallon tanks fed by spring water this tower can now be rented (click here) on Airbnb.
Alexander died less than a year ago. It is a strange and wonderful experience living in his comfortable home.
We have been exploring. All weekend we dropped in at community events: private and public parties. The Mattole River Restoration cookout and dance, a wonderful wedding anniversary party where they made their own Grappa in a copper still. A young cook from Oakland roasted pig and served it by an open fire under white canvas awnings.
The following day they called us to taste the gin they had just made in the same still. Last night a local intellectual cooked us home-grown free range chicken and home-made pink grapefruit sorbet. On Sunday morning we bought basil mayonnaise, catnip and tomato starts from the Petrolia Farmers Market.
Most of the Lost Coast is designated wilderness within the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and the King Range National Conservation Area. Remote beaches backed up by steep cliffs and mountains. King’s Peak reaches an elevation of 4,088 feet only three miles from the Pacific Ocean.
The King Range has risen 66 feet in the last 6,000 years due to the meeting of three tectonic plates: North American, Pacific, and Juan de Fuca, just off the white cap coast. The land on the North American plate is being piled rapidly upward. Its grey crumbly sandstone creating beaches of pristine, black sand.
On the beach we meet a few passers-by. We meet hikers who, by law, keep their food in locked plastic containers. Bear proof. The containers looked like the barrels atomic waste is stored in.
We needed cleaning supplies. We drive an hour to get them. The road from Petrolia to the Victorian town of Ferndale is perhaps one of the most beautiful roads I have ever traveled. Hogweed, ancient ferns and Douglas Fir.
Ferndale was founded by Danish settlers. The 19th century houses are really well-preserved. The history of the town inextricably linked to tinned salmon and logging, both of which have gone forever. The trees cut down, the salmon extinct. We saw two huge trucks loaded with old growth tree trunks but apparently they come from small ‘sustainable’ forests.
Daisy’s father said:
Start with the word “sustainable.” These days fund-raisers and grant-writers string it round each sentence like an adjectival fanny pack, bulging with self-congratulation. Mostly, the term is meaningless or a vague expression of hope. In the case of timber, it’s a haphazard and often highly debatable designation that amounts to little more than a vague pledge that the timber is not virgin old growth.
We stop in at the lumber yard to buy laminated boards for Daisy to paint. We are served by a fresh-faced youth. I ask him if he’ll ever leave Ferndale. He says, he’s a small town boy. He doesn’t want to leave. I understand why.
I promised that I wouldn’t write about where and who I was staying with… it just feels like boasting.
Her house/compound is too perfect. Filled with unusual and beautiful things. It was left to her by her father. Her father, Alexander Cockburn was a famous and magnificent political writer. Alexander died last July.
He collected the most extraordinary ceramics, eclectic paintings and built a tower on the hill that I have not yet visited. The ceramics are mostly by LA based ceramist Jim Danisch. Daisy’s mother is the writer Emma Tennant. Her cousin is Olivia Wilde.
I drove from LA. Through San Francisco. The last 60 miles along perilous roads in the dark. Tarmac Roads that suddenly give out to treacherous gravel. Past the magnificent redwoods that even in the dark… are extraordinary.
I slept in a huge bed built on a wooden platform. I slept like a giant redwood log. At night, I can hear the Mattole river moving quickly over tiny gray pebbles. This morning we all… dogs too… swam in the cold clear water.
More pics tomorrow.
A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.
The perception of most Americans is that Bradley Manning is a traitor.
More so, I imagine, than the man who shot 17 Iraqi women and children as they lay sleeping in their beds.
If a journalist with a degree had uncovered this information I believe most Americans would be ok with that.
His expensive education would somehow allow him the privilege of exposing the wrongs of the nation.
We are shooting the messenger because the messenger is poor white trash… who the hell does he think he is?
That’s what I’m hearing. That’s what’s really going on here.
It is a black day for the international LGBTQ community.
He is presently kept alive by a tangle of opalescent tubes.
In Russia activists are targeted by government sponsored bullies.
In London intellectuals are beaten to the ground by members of the EDL.
Trans people are murdered every day all over the world, often without investigation.
Have you heard? There is, amongst the general population, a perceived inevitability about LGBTQ equality.
Some amongst us are becoming complacent. Bloated on the success we think we have.
Basking in the support we think we get from the President. In fact we are silenced by him.
His words over deeds have silenced us.
We must speak up. Continue to challenge. Continue to be seen.
We must not shirk our responsibility to queer martyrs like Clément Méric.
Speak up. Heckle.
I congratulate Ellen. Finally, a voice for the queer poor heard over the screaming voices of the queer rich.
Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.
Remember. As we strive for parity there will be those with equal and opposite views.
There will be violence.
There will be those who will kill an 18-year-old queer boy because they can.
The women’s movement of the 1920s, side-tracked for a generation until the 1960s, with so many needlessly broken lives and life expectations as a result.
Queer people are being attacked all over the world: Paris, Moscow, New York, London by increasingly emboldened haters.
As we demand equality in the workplace, the home and in the establishment these attacks will become more frequent.
We must, whether we like it or not, form a true LGBTQ alliance not only in name but in practice.
It is too late for fear to drive us into the shadows. We are out. We are visible.
We need to be more fearless and more visible.
This means YOU.
This means ME.
Reading about Clément Méric this morning, looking at his sweet, boyish profile… I began to question my own behavior.
I have, of late, let resentment toward the gays shape my own kind of homophobia.
For those of you who have read my blog these past couple of years the provenance of this loathing may seem understandable.
Today, I need to jettison those resentments.
If I truly believe in this fight… I have to accept those I detest as my queer brothers and sisters.
There is an endless stream of ‘good news’ on Facebook. The parties, the marriages, the births, the home renovations and the ubiquitous instagramed plates of delicious (and not so delicious) breakfast, lunch and dinner. The grandiose exclamations of joy and delight. The boasting, the dressing up… the glitter and sangria.
In between the nihilistic leather soirees and endless travelogues come occasional glimpses of the pain and suffering most of us endure but seldom want to admit. At least… not on social media. Not to those who seem to be having the time of their lives every single day.
Two deaths this week. One old lady I never knew and one young man I did. Sandwiched between bottles of french wine and exotic vacations on the French Riviera is the truth. The young American who can’t stop drinking and the miserable single woman who can’t get the man to stay.
They say, when I post my bits and pieces, that I am angry… lonely… sad. When I don’t agree with a theme they say I am a sullen contrarian. When I post expressions of joy I am inundated with ‘likes’ as if my happiness needs affirming.
My friend’s mother dies peacefully in the hospital bed. He updates us by the hour. Her final words remind us of our own mortality. I am so grateful he tells us so. I learn so much more from her last words than a another blurry picture of enchiladas posted at some obscure Mexican restaurant where my ‘friends’ boast of the wonderful time they are having.
I have stopped posting pictures of parties, of other people in their gorgeous homes. I have stopped reporting which celebrities I have seen and what they were doing. Of late I have been concentrating on injustice. My own and others.
The realtor who engages his powerful friends to incarcerate. We are getting to the bottom of that mucky situation. The way the rich use government institutions to their own ends. Corrupt district attorneys, prosecutors and law enforcement. We are getting to the bottom of that one. Slowly, like archeologists gently removing layer after layer of dirt… getting to what was so carefully buried. For every corrupt official there is another eager to help.
For the time being I have to be obtuse. That will end… sooner or later. I am patient . I can wait.
Bradley Manning, queer hero, his trial starts today. Although I doubt we will get the outcome we desire and that boy will probably spend the rest of his life in jail for doing the right thing… he will not be forgotten. Bradley Manning will not be forgotten.
Paul, my white gay friend, the talent manager. I saw him yesterday. He had been to a Liberace viewing party in the hills. A bunch of straight acting gay boys watching Liberace in the opulent surroundings of an older gay man. Their reaction was as expected… they hated it. They didn’t see what Liberace had to do with their lives. You see, they complained… they wanted to see themselves. Paul couldn’t understand why Scott Thorson (who he knows) had his story told. He described Scott as a ‘user’. He said he thought it was ‘unfair’ that Scott’s story was told rather than a ‘gay hero’.
“Who?” I asked. “Which gay hero?”
His brow furrowed. He’ll get back to me with the answer.
Then it occurred to me why a bunch of boys under the age of 25 drinking free booze in the house of an older Hollywood oligarch might not like the film Liberace. Rather than not seeing themselves… on the contrary, they all saw themselves exactly and hated what they saw.
Like on Facebook the ugly truth is sometimes sandwiched between the glitter and sangria.
No matter how deeply it is buried.
Ha. Don’t hold your breath.
Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when nearly all top jobs in industry and government were taken by white men and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?
Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when a gay man was shot in the face in the middle of the most liberal city in the western world for being a faggot and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?
A thousand years from now? Maybe that’s the kind of incremental change brown people, women and queer people expect?
When will you fight for more? Why do you put up with the status quo?
Fight for marriage and all things are equal? No. Fight for white men to stop taking everything, determining the agenda and we might get somewhere.
I wouldn’t like to hang around in gay bars right now. Not with all these emboldened haters amongst us.
Thank God I don’t drink.
I am wearing my pink shoes. People understand what I am when they look at my feet.
I’m trying to jettison ‘straight acting‘, I’m trying to abandon my invisibility but I know what that means. It means hostility from gay men and straight men.
I like it when they describe drag queens as fierce. That’s what I have spent life being: FIERCE. Of course, this has been perceived as angry or anti social or… can I explain something?
Anger is an emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged, or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation.
Anger management? The management of justified anger.
Listen to this. I have been reasonably angry for a long time.
I was a kid and I knew I wanted to fall in love with and have sex with men (and women) but the man part of my desire was outlawed, derided.
I fell in love at school. I fell in love and explored men’s bodies.
I remember when I was 14 I was walking along the beach in Whitstable. I met a man. I lay on the sea wall with him. Furtive. Illegal. I never saw him again. I wonder about him.
They hated us for something we could not change. I ignored them. I parried the blows.
I lived in a dream world because living in that reality was simply too painful.
Margaret Thatcher didn’t want me and men and women like me… she didn’t want us to exist.
I’ll tell you what makes me angry: Brown people not getting a fair trial. A third of all black men in the USA are in jail. Women in the military being raped and sexually abused. Drag queens damning trans people. I am angry that some people are denied bail. I am angry that my lover left me when I found my tumor. I am angry with myself for falling in love with men who could never love me back. I am angry that the breast cancer gene is privately owned, that innocent brown people are still being held in captivity in Guantanamo Bay. I am angry that gay men think that marriage is the answer. I am angry that I grew up with an angry step father. I am angry that Monsanto kill bees. I am angry that my neighbors park in front of my gate so I can’t get in and out of my house. I am angry that two young girls are criminalized for falling in love. I am angry that most agents (realtors and talent) are sociopath. I am angry with gay men and straight men for over simplifying sexuality.
How do you live with that?
I set it aside. The anger. I find peace wherever I can. I pull weeds. I walk the dogs. I feed the fish.
I forgive them for their sexism, their murder, their bullying, their insistence that they WIN. At all costs. Like the bees. Winning the market means… killing the bees.
When I buy something at auction the others applaud. They congratulate me. They tell me that I have won. I didn’t win. I just paid the highest price. It’s not hard to do.
So. Today I am wearing my pink shoes. There you go. ‘Nice shoes,’ they scoff.
Oh, I’m wearing them because I’m queer and I really want you to know. Because I exist somewhere between Liberace and Jason Collins but I’m still trying to work it out. Working out what kind of man I am.
I don’t think I’m alone.
Men make their own history but they do not make it as they choose.
Mark Carson was a black man and a gay man. He did not have the luxury of invisibility.
When he was shot in the head yesterday, he was already walking away from the man with a gun.
He was killed moments from where Joe and I lived on 13th Street in the West Village, NYC.
He went down fast.
This story is peculiarly American. It includes race, guns and queers.
The narrative is so familiar I am no longer shocked.
In London a white queer couple are walking home arm in arm. They are beaten to the ground.
To walk the streets.
Holding my lovers hand in the street is still an act of rebellion.
The rate of HIV infection is still epidemic, around 45-50,000 new cases every year, 60% of those are gay or bisexual men.
That is the cold hard truth.
No use dragging in references to children in Africa. The causes are preventable here amongst Americans.
The immune defense systems of many people are compromised and therefore vulnerable to deadly viruses such as the new strain of meningitis.
I fully support my GBTQ community, but I must also defend and uphold the bare truth: people in America want what they want when they want it.
They don’t care to understand that they are living off the principal instead of the interest.
When Jake and I were in Paris we sat on the Terrace of the Hotel Mama Shelter. We were dining, holding hands and kissing.
During a tumultuous and difficult relationship it was a moment of tender kindness.
From a window high above where we were lounging a man called out: “Pede!”
Jake didn’t speak French. He, thankfully, did not understand that we were being insulted. “Faggot!”
I expected something to be thrown. A shot to ring out. My life felt threatened.
I wrapped my arms protectively around him. Just in case. I loved him so.
If you are queer. You know what I am talking about.
If you are black, a muslim… anything other than a straight white male. You know what I am talking about.
You know that feeling very well.
They want to march the street tonight. They want to hold a vigil for Mark Carson. They want to fight back. But, what exactly are you fighting when you fight back?
The young men who want to hurt us, to kill us… are just doing what they understand: they are identifying the enemy and bringing it down.
To some they are patriots.
They are heroes from another age.
They do not understand our rarefied world because we have not done enough to explain it to them.
What do they know about us? We may seem like a grandiose secret society… like the Scientologists or The Masonic Order and like any other secret society… we pose a threat.
We have done nothing to make our position clear except demand to oppress by joining historically oppressive institutions: the military and marriage.
They may have every good reason to hate us because they think we have everything and they have nothing.
They think we are rich, successful, they think we are celebrities… or connected to celebrity.
In this TV Quick world they see us living a dream. Why? Because we have sold them this in an attempt to seem ‘normal’.
Dinner at Nobu. What a mess. Had to concentrate solely on my dining companion and not get side tracked by huge black eyebrows drawn onto Botox faces, short men with pony tails and overly developed biceps.
The creamy snow crab was delicious.
The crowd was not.
The morbidly obese, trapped in their mid west homes, are lifting their fat fingers and tapping one key at a time… declaring their outrage.
But, the rest of you… the gays… Mike Jeffries is gay… what did you expect?
Jeffries made a fortune from Bruce Weber’s homoerotic (bordering on pedophilia) A&F ad campaigns and the gays kept their mouths firmly shut.
What did you think that Weimar Nazi imagery was all about?
Did you see those highly collectible A&F catalogues now owned by all my gay friends?
Who complained that there were no fat models, no wheelchair bound kids frolicking in Bear Pond?
Now that Mike Jeffries is old, his face scarred with reconstructive surgery his very common gay obsession with youth and beauty is suddenly in bad taste?
Perhaps fat people should stop eating if they want to wear hideous A&F clothing.
As for the guy who gave the stuff to homeless people. WTF? Ha Ha Ha. Not funny or clever or LIBERAL.
Why isn’t the LIBERACE movie being distributed in the USA?
Why can you see this movie in European cinemas and not here?
I am told that very powerful gays here in Hollywood scuppered it.
It was they who described it as ‘too gay’ (camp) and inappropriate for audiences in the USA who might think we were all like Liberace.
In this ghastly straight acting world… we don’t want straight people to get the wrong idea.
God forbid… sportsman might not want to come out of the closet and be heroes.
Today, at Gjelina, we sat next to 3 good-looking, rich, straight Russian boys on vacation from Moscow.
We charmed them. They thought I was so funny and sweet.
As we left I drained the smile off my face. I touched one of them gently on the shoulder.
I said very seriously, “When you go home can you tell your President to stop killing the gays.”
They laughed. They thought I was joking. After all, I had three beautiful women friends for lunch.
“No, I mean it… it’s really got to stop and it’s up to you.”
They looked foolish and embarrassed and that was good because the last thing you need when you are a rich, white Russian on vacation in LA are liberals making fun of your country… your government and you.
Most gays wouldn’t have bothered. But that’s the way you change the world.
Let them know it’s not OK.
The 14-year-old son of state Sen. Brian Hatfield has been charged with four counts of first-degree child rape and four counts of first-degree child molestation in Lewis County.
The boy is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old boy from November 2012 until Feb. 14 of this year, when the younger boy’s mother interrupted an incident.
According to the police report, the mother informed detectives Hatfield told her on several occasions that he was attempting to ‘enter his son into therapy’ and would also be contacting authorities in Lewis County.
The mother stated that she knows that this has ‘not occurred’.
Neither parent called authorities at that time of the alleged incident and the mother said she had not ‘witnessed any physical contact’ between the boys.
Her son informed her some contact had occurred, but the boy later told detectives he didn’t reveal the full extent of the ‘abuse’ at that time.
The two boys had no further contact after the February incident.
Was this the love affair I remember when I was 11?
Is this pubescent messing around or… rape?
Homo sex demonized by frightened parents?
There’s something so wrong about this story and it’s not the sex.
Marriage equality would not have saved Mark Carson’s short life.
The cloak of equality he may have worn later on in life was not his to wear.
Joining the army may have paid for his education… but would not have saved his life.
Marriage equality would not get him to the hospital in time. It would not have paid the hospital bills if he had lived.
Marriage equality would not have stopped the deathly glances of those who disapprove or those who thought he might rob them because he was black.
I am praying that Mark Carson took the bullet intended for this old faggot.
Mark… I shed a tear for you today.
So, I’ve been spending time on Christian Mingle.
Looking for God’s match for me. Well, I’m sorry but… it’s shit.
God (not my usual God) made it quite clear to me whilst I was scrolling obsessively through acres of men who look like pedophiliac geography teachers… he made it perfectly clear that a life of abstinent solitude was probably on the cards or (if I was really lucky) being violently murdered by a crazy sex therapist or… luckier… a hit man sent by some crazier ex.
Which brings me illogically to:
Bradley Manning. My hero. What can I say? This courageous young man has revealed not only international truths triggering the Arab Spring and a hasty retreat from Iraq by the USA… but the truth about American, white gay men.
Fuck me. What a bunch of crazy, right-wing cock suckers.
I mean… these gay white guys are voting Democrat, so they get their miserable marriage equality then… as soon as they do… they’ll jump ship and vote Republican… if they aren’t already.
Gay White Men won’t feel like they are part of any minority once they achieve parity with their straight white male colleagues.
Powerful white men famously loathe sharing the stage with immigrants, brown people, poor people, ugly people, fat people, trans… and women. Fuck them. Especially women. Their natural enemy.
‘They don’t mesh with MY lifestyle.’ he said. Yes, he really said that.
It fills me full of dread to imagine a world run by gay white men. But apparently, according to Elton John. It already is.
So Bradley, I had to draw a line in the sand.
It’s Anderson Cooper, Elton John, David Geffen, the HRC and any guests at a typical Hollywood pool party over there… and it’s me you and the brown people over here.
Bradley, in the USA the gays want to ignore you, demonize you, forget you.
The rest of the world thinks about you every day, rotting in that jail. They agree with me. They think you’re the bees knees.
Bradley, you won’t believe this but, yesterday Vivienne Westwood wore a laminated photograph of you pinned to her lilac, silk gown at the Metropolitan Fashion Ball.
Perhaps the gays might take you more seriously now?
I doubt it.
I’m really sorry that our community has let you down.
Apparently what you did… isn’t gay enough.
“What does Bradley Manning and his treason have to do with being gay?” That’s what they say Bradley.
You just ain’t the right flavor. And, of course, they (elite gay snobs) know you only joined the military in the first place to get a free education.
You ended up educating the whole world.
“You should have known better. You shouldn’t have broken the rules.”
That’s what the rich, white, gay men say.
Bradley, they were going to include you in the 2013 San Francisco Pride event. Did you hear about that? They were going to honour you.
But they lost their nerve after the rich, white gays persuaded the poor, black lesbian who runs the event that you were just a common thief.
There are well researched articles about you and what happened at San Francisco Pride. Bradley’s inclusion and outrageous exclusion.
After it happened I had to defriend over 250 affluent gay white men on Facebook. Yes, I did.
I felt like a Jew waking up out of a blackout at the Nazi Christmas party. Or a Muslim at the NRA National Convention. Or a Christian in the back room of a gay bar.
I had to make a big decision. I had to weigh up: the differences versus the similarities and… the similarities between me and the gays were negligible.
I had to redefine myself.
Bradley, for you… I am not gay.
I will have nothing more to do with them. Because of you.
Thanks for that Bradley. I owe you a club soda some time.
But, that’s only half the story. I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable in my gay skin for a very long time.
It all began with that smile he gave me in the family court waiting area 3 years ago. He was with his dad.
That arrogant grin. You see… he thought he’d won the war.
Americans always think they have to win.
It was shocking because, until that moment, I’d only ever seen his ersatz humility. I did not recognize him any more.
But, I knew the smile. I’d seen it before… on the entitled faces of rich, white gay men.
Oh God. I thought. That’s who you are. That’s what you’ve been hiding.
The pain I felt around the gays. The revulsion I felt at the gay charity events, gay AA, gay white men, gays en masse.
The smell of them began to make me nauseous.
Perhaps, I thought, it might just be self hate? Internalized homophobia?
Just like I thought my gall stones were indigestion… it was the wrong self-diagnosis.
I am surrounded by millions of gay zombies. In the perpetual search for fresh meat.
Zombies forcing other gays, gays with unnatural ideas to think like them.
The gays love him. They don’t care if they’re being used to shield what’s really going on.
Hey America! Look at this dancing gay who wants to get married… look… over here! Look over here whilst we torture these Muslims and spray the world with bee killing Round-Up.
If you ever get out of that prison… you’ll find a very different gay America. Oh yes.
But don’t expect a heroes welcome from the gays. It ain’t happening.
Don’t expect a GLAAD award.
Their ‘heroes’ are prescribed by good looking GLAAD president Herndon Graddick and his ilk. Heroes? A GLAAD ‘hero’ is anyone who comes out of the closet or a celebrity who says publicly that they like gay people.
Herndon Graddick? Consider the source.
You know what, Bradley? The last time I saw Herndon (fascist star-fucker) he was sobbing in a gay AA meeting because he can’t stop doing meth.
Bradley, you were very brave.
Fear has shaped their lives.
They are scared of you. They used to be scared of radical homosexual Peter Tatchell. Before Elton brought him in from the cold.
Bradley, you didn’t come from an affluent family, you’re not a great looker. You might not even be a man… that’s what they say.
But who ever you are, you are my hero. You made me rethink, reshape my life. Redefine myself as queer rather than gay… and I thank you for that… again. Because without you… things might have remained confusing for me.
But now… they’re not.
The story of S.F. Pride versus Bradley Manning and S.F. Pride versus the activist community of San Francisco is an ugly one that illumines the maggoty underside of assimilationist politics and policies. In the quest for straight acceptance that has propelled the LGBT community headlong into the arms of two of the most historically repressive institutions, marriage and the military, dissent has become anathema. The values of ads that used to pepper the personals in queer newspapers and magazines “seeking straight-looking, straight-acting, no fats, no fems” have become internalized within the community. The controversy over Manning highlights what has happened in the juggernaut move toward equality — there’s no room for outliers. Either you are a Lisa Williams-style straight-acting, straight-looking martinet with no temper for dissent or you are like the people who signed the complaint — activists all — who recognize that our queer story is not going to be told simply through marriage equality and being able to enlist openly in the military. Marriage and military equality are important, but they aren’t our only issues. Manning took the actions he did because of his outrage over DADT, which was still in effect throughout his deployment. But he also acted like so many patriots have over our nation’s history — out of loyalty to American democracy. Manning thought the government was lying to the people. So he told them the truth.
VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who has won the NLGJA and Society of Professional Journalists Awards for her series on LGBT issues. She is the author and editor of more than 30 books, including the award-winning Too Queer: Essays From a Radical Life. She lives in Philadelphia. Find her on Twitter at @VABOX.
It started with a short message and ended up with a whole bunch of choices I never expected.
Not in my wildest dreams.
I’ve read what you had to say. Now it’s my turn.
Stepping away from the mess. It’s not so messy. It seems like it was planned.
This pantomime. Look at the cast of unusual, freakish characters. Look at them.
Boys and men, trans and women.
Young girls. Yes. They are here too.
So you wrote me a poem. No title… of course.
We were connected .
When it expires we are expired.
The order? It was a good idea. It was a great way to formalize the end of our association. I can only imagine that you feel much the same way I do.
I wish we had never met.
Don’t you shudder whenever you think about it?
I understand why you needed to rewrite the narrative.
I took advantage of you?
You had far more to lose by telling the truth.
When assigning blame, I take full responsibility. I should have walked away.
Everyone I trusted advised me to do so. Everyone I trusted.
Instead, I pinned my hopes on you. I found your interest in me all at once baffling and inspiring.
A romantic relationship was impossible.
Because I am a broken, sick man. Incapable of intimacy.
You sold me:
A big fat lie.
Yet, we never talked about my lies. Yes, I lied to you about almost everything.
Lies I had held onto for a very long time.
This man is a liar. Just like me. Did you ever think that?
The last time I checked, and that was some time ago, you seemed very happy wearing your new clothes, your relationship, your job and your family.
I am delighted. You will make a much better job of being a gay than I ever could.
Your ability to form and maintain relationships will mean that you’ll have everything you always wanted. Everything you ever dreamed.
The questions I wanted to ask… I have no reason to ask.
The truth set you free and I am very proud of you… even though I have no desire to set eyes upon you ever again.
May 6th 2013
When did you have time to write that? Was it really meant for me?
Did you wonder if I should reply? Did you think I could?
There are no words left.
The storm rattles the house, thunders down the drain pipes. Torrents of rain over the mountain. Hammering down onto the wide, new leaves.
Make some toast and lime marmalade. Boil some eggs. Stand naked in the warm rain.
Meeting you once. That was enough. I don’t need any more chaos in my life. That’s what a moment with you was. Whoever you are. Was that your real name? Did I tell you my real name. Isn’t that the point?
A community of liars, reinventing themselves for a wet, dark moment under the covers.
That’s what they don’t want you to know. So many lies they tell. They want you to believe we just are like you. We are just like you behind the elegant front door.
The bronze gargoyle.
No women to temper our worst excesses.
I don’t care.
He picked me up at the Market Tavern in Vauxhall. He sent the bar man over with a pint. Paid for. Caught my attention. I had no intention of kissing him. Making love to him. Instead I took him to the crater in the City of London where the Irish Republican Army had blown up the streets.
We took a cab to Notting Hill and bought those yellow silk curtains.
Certain that no one would believe the story. Still very drunk. A pall over my forehead. We sat in Tim’s kitchen so I could, at a later date, prove that we had been there. I sat my god daughter on my lap. My jeans must have stunk of beer and cigarettes and sweat.
I think he was probably into fisting.
I can feel it. You are falling in love with me but I’m not interested. I can’t pretend. I can’t love you back. You may as well back away from the beloved. As you know, there’s a viper beneath the skin. Your weakness disgusts me. Those eyes looking up at me expecting so much more. Those big brown eyes offending me. I imagine pushing you down the stairs.
Lawyers, lovers, movers, electricians, renters, plumbers, real estate agents, judges, baristas.
Visitors: from England. My home town. I think you forget that my home town will always be there. Always. The softer landing. Regardless what you do to me. What you take from me. How you silence me. The months are passing quickly.
If you send me home. My mouth is wide open. A siren. From Whitstable.
Oh, Whitstable. I am coming home.
Leaving behind these savages. I would rather face my demons there.
Savages, blowing up there own people. Blaming the boys. The muslim boys. Demonizing islam.
It’s a drill… wait… no it’s not. There is a third bomb… wait no there isn’t. We’re looking for a dark skinned man… wait… actually two white ones. We need help identifying them… wait we’ve had one of them on a list for years and we know where he lives. Ok, we found them but we killed one… no wait his brother killed him… wait… no he didn’t. We captured the other one after a firefight but he shot himself… wait… he didn’t have a gun.
Savages, without opera. Savages, white and clean. Chained to their guns and their christianity. The lies they tell: the deficit. The heroes they claim. The heroes they abandon.
The gays are picking out their black shirts, their golden hair and musculature.
Being in jail radicalized me. Hanging with the Trans hookers. No longer gay. This queer, with other queers. Behind the women and men of colour, of indeterminate physicality. Liberty leading the people.
There is so much outraged. Outrage! A line has to be drawn. Robby, my darling ally. Now he is Dustin Lance Black‘s boyfriend, well… he had to be jettisoned. The trophy boyfriend.
I really loved him. Like a son.
There he is with the gays (black and white) at the White House. Looking uncomfortable. His hair slicked back. His beautiful flaxen hair.
Meanwhile his ‘husband’ Lance Black, is a grand marshall/special guest star/nazi youth at San Francisco Pride. The same organisation that abandoned Bradley Manning last week. Turned their back on a world hero in favor of an illusionist.
Lance is a man who writes about history rather than participates in it.
A bunch of Iraq gay vets (murderers/terrorists) took it upon themselves to complain and the corporate Pride org buckled.
It was a sad day. A terrible, sad day.
One day films will be made about Bradley Manning and we will wonder, with a degree of homo incredulity, how Lance Black and the organizers of SanFrancisco Pride found themselves on the wrong side of history.
Hairless, blond Lance with his hairless, limp, blond husband.
So the argument rages. Is Bradley manning a hero? It seems that if he is… not many gay people agree. He broke the law they caw!
Well, did he? Whistle blowing (as it turns out) is an honorable, protected act.
Executive Order 13526, Section 1.7 pertaining to Classifications Prohibitions and Limitations clearly states that:
In no case shall information be classified… in order to: conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency… or prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.
Thus, what Bradley Manning did when he disclosed cables that revealed extreme corruption and major breaches of diplomatic goodwill was, in fact, quite honorable, and he deserves protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act.
My friend Robby is part of a homosexual elite. Able to shape and destroy lives.
The bitter and resentful gays turning on their own. They daren’t turn on straight people. Why? They still want to be straight.
Meanwhile a black man comes out and the gay, white elite are thrilled. It’s embarrassing that they have no black friends. It’s embarrassing that they have no black friends on Facebook.
Thank God! A black man, playing basket ball. He’s making it seem so comfortable.
Fuck HRC. Fuck GLAAD.
I am understanding now. Who those gays are. They never wanted to put up their hand and tell the world they were different. I did. They wanted to be teachers pet. I didn’t. They wanted to be perfect. Nope, not me.
Their only act of bravery is telling the world they are gay.
Astonishing. These absurd gay men screaming about how Bradley Manning broke the law. We who were born criminals… born gay, who every time we kissed or made love also broke the law. Would you have suggested abstinence until the laws magically changed? Did we deserve to go to jail for being gay, after all… we knew the consequences? Who do you think broke the law on your behalf to fight police and break windows at Stonewall? Sadly. it turns out, not many gay men. They were hiding in the back of the bar whilst the trannies broke the law. The gays are still hiding in the back of the bar whilst honorable men like Bradley Manning fight important battles against iniquity and injustice. By dissing Manning you merely collude with, support the illegal actions of the US military. Make your choice, but remember those of us who fought on your behalf once upon a time did so without regard for the law. Bradley Manning may or may not have broken laws. Without doubt, his actions helped liberate millions and hastened a US military withdrawal from Iraq. You must honor him.
Let’s face it. It wasn’t gay men fighting the police and breaking windows the day Judy died. The gays were hiding in the back of the bar or running away. Terrified of breaking the law. Terrified. They are still hiding in the back of the bar whilst others do their fighting for them.
One day, there will be men owning up to not wanting to be gay, staying in the closet because… they will say… ‘I’m not like that… look at what the gays have become…’
This week I purged myself of white, elite gay ‘friends’ on Facebook and I wished I knew… what I could do next.
For more about how we are evolving… read this: Steven W. Thrasher’s great piece in Gawker today.
I haven’t written anything for so long.
Perhaps I just ran out of things to say.
Roger Ebert died. He wrote to me recently urging me to write more. I have no idea why.
The house in Malibu is filled with my things again and the garden, this beautiful spring, overwhelms me.
Moving back in gave me the opportunity to start editing once again. I threw out three huge boxes of old clothes. Cashmere, labels, everything loved for a moment back then. Helmut, Yves, Issy, Comme des Garcons… boxy shirts from another era, trousers that I can (after my op) still get into but have lost interest in.
I kept all the Helmut Lang couture. It’s just too special.
I feel myself floating over the surface of my life.
The road trip across the USA was spectacular. Chicago, Denver, The Rockies, Utah and Vegas. Just me and the dogs and a car full of art and luggage. I met lovely people and saw cities I had only ever heard of.
I never went over the speed limit.
The operation to have my gall bladder removed was painful but since having the surgery I feel wonderful.
I didn’t realize how much pain I was living with. How the pain made me grumpy, listless and intolerant.
Now, without that girdle of pain, without the imminent GB attacks… I feel perfectly happy. Peaceful.
I can concentrate. perhaps that’s why I need to write?
During the past few months so much has happened. Things I can tell you and things I can’t.
Yet, after the moment passes, I can’t be bothered to write it down.
Editing the huge amount of stuff I own to a few essential pieces. Taking my old stuff to vintage stores, consignment stores and auction houses has been cathartic and profitable. Who knew things were so valuable?
But more than that. It feels like I am winding down. Not is a morbid way.
With less stuff and less girth (since the op I lost a great deal of weight) I feel not only lighter but more agile, more energy to do important things (for me) more time to devote to others, causes, delights.
As you know, those who know me, I like my decisions to be made for me. I LIKED my decisions to be made for me.
Recently I have taken control of the reigns. Less at the mercy of Duncan Roy. Do you know what I’m talking about?