As you all know Joan Sutherland died last week.  The great Opera Singer.

Occasionally I wonder why some gay men (including myself) love opera so much, and if they don’t love opera we love Streisand or Madonna.  For many gay men women sing their thoughts, express the drama and pain of their love.  I don’t know many gay men who choose male singers to express their feelings.

As I have said before, it makes me sad that I never heard a love song on the radio where a man sang about his love for another man.  George Michael came close.  Elton never wrote his own lyrics so sang Bernie’s heterosexual love songs.  Perhaps ‘Blue Eyes’ was the only song he ever sang that seemed to be about men loving men.

This is how, in so many ways, popular culture lets us down.  Our extraordinary love ignored.  Perhaps I am just old-fashioned and don’t listen to the radio anymore so miss out on The Scissor Sisters or who ever is playing OUR tune.  You’ll know.  Let me know.  Teach me.

Ryan, who I have actually enjoyed hearing from these past few days inspired me to think about the ‘closet’.  You know what that is don’t you?  I don’t need to explain what a closet is.  Do I?

OK…I will.

Figuratively, a closet is a place where one hides things; ‘having skeletons in the closet’  is a figure of speech for having particularly sensitive secrets.

Thus, closet as an adjective means secret—usually with a connotation of vice or shame, as in ‘a closet alcoholic’ or ‘a closet homosexual’.

To come out of the closet is to admit your secrets publicly, used almost exclusively in reference to homosexuality.

Was I ever in the closet?   I don’t think I ever was.  There was certainly some pre-pubescent awkwardness but that particular ‘coming out’ moment was stolen from me when I was 12 years old by my Mother who told our doctor that she thought I was gay and then regaled me with stories about the gay men she knew in London when she worked as a waitress at the Carlton Club.

I was PISSED OFF about her telling the doctor as part of me wanted it to remain a secret whilst I worked out what it all meant.   By the time I was 12 I already had sexual contact with men.  At boarding school.  Consensual sex with other boys.  My Mother wrote darkly to me in one of her daily letters, “Don’t do anything you can’t understand.”  Of course, I would spend the next 40 years doing quite the opposite.

Thankfully I was brought up in a secular, liberal seaside town where gay men lived open and rather exotic lives for all to see.

As I said to Ryan, not all closets are created equal.   The closet that Ryan alluded to is quite different from the one my darling little scum bag constructed for himself.  Ryan’s closet built in the deep south of shame and fear is quite familiar, it seems, to most gay men.

My experience of being gay is bloody different from nearly every gay man I meet.  Most have the obligatory ‘coming out’ tale and talk about it like debutantes.  I never had a ‘coming out’  I had a ‘let’s get on with it’.

I don’t want to dwell on scum bag today.  Needless to say his closet was quite unlike Ryan’s and should be called something different.  It should be called maybe a ‘walk in’ as it was roomy and comfortable and well constructed.

In the past when ever I have encouraged people to get honest about their sexual orientation I have suggested that when telling their parents/friends/loved ones the truth that they be as magnificent, as heroic as they possibly can!  Tell them the gay truth with a smile on their face and without fear.   “I have something WONDERFUL to tell you…”

With all this press about bullying and suicide it reminds me that whether we like it or not this resolutely Christian society may not condone these deaths but still colluded with them.  Iranians may hang their gays but we make it so uncomfortable for ours that gay men, steeped in shame, take their own lives.

OK, as for the rest of yesterday?  Friends popped by including all of my very cool neighbours.  The ones who are moving out of their foreclosed house.  Waiting for the bank to tell them to leave.  The problem is, nobody wants their house so once they go it will sit their at the end of the street falling slowly into disrepair.  Not great for the neighbourhood but familiar to all of us here in the USA.  I only have one derelict house on the block, many people have entire streets, house after house falling down around them.

This economic meltdown is so despicable.  It has so cruelly displaced so many people.  Like a terrible plague.  Makes me vomit how the government can do nothing for ordinary people whilst helping only the richest stay richer.

I am proud to tell you that at these times I enthusiastically embrace my European hybrid socialist values.

I have said for some time that I am willing to lose everything in this gamble.  I came here and I lost the bet.  That’s OK.  Better to have tried here than stayed in Whitstable in the warm and dry.  Better to take a risk than never risk at all.

God only knows, I know that most Americas disagree with what they think socialism is but that is only their contempt prior to investigation.  I wish they knew more about how the people can truly take their power back.  It worked in Europe.

It certainly has nothing to do with the tea party movement.

It’s kinda funny watching the GOP elite struggle with all these potty new Republican candidates.  Christine O the witch.  Now, she is FUNNY.  Almost worth electing to see how completely unprepared for power that woman is.  Just like her idol Sarah Palin, whose prime objective is to enact the word of the bible and blow up Iran.  Yet, even though I think the tea party movement is misguided it is still strangely invigorating.  I am slightly in awe of how these new Nazis have energised the nation.  Oh, did I call them Nazis?  Sorry.

Most of these ghastly tea party politicians are, of course, snake oil sales men.  Raising money from desperate people to pay their rent rather than fuel their campaigns, selling the people easy solutions for difficult problems.

America has to change but as former President’s have said..these changes may only truly come when the people are hungry and angry enough to get off their asses and into the street and say that enough is enough.

OK.  I actually wrote more of my film yesterday.  Fleshing it out.  It was good.  I like this film.  It has heart.

I am preparing to go back to London.  Preparing to get my ball dealt with.  I think the fear around that is unresolved.  John is holding the fought.  I have to deal with the spitting incident when I get there too.  Damn.

It is cold and gray here.  I light a roaring fire every night.  Ashley joins me for breakfast.  We tell our stories then she heads off to work.  I wait up for her like an anxious mother.