Archives for category: Queer

The rain, interminable. Cats and dogs. Great lakes puddle over the marshy back land.   Ominous clouds scud over the Hudson Valley.  Tom the gardener ploughs trenches down hill, unplugging the dams. Thirty years of fallen oak leaves dredged from soggy trench and damned culvert.  Branches thrown over the fence into the once vacant lot by lazy neighbours, removed. A scribble of dead bramble, removed. Now, on the northern perimeter, a pile of rotting vegetation – we might have burned on November 5th if we lived somewhere sensible.


“There’ll be no bonfires in the village.” She said. The woman at the Mayor’s office. So. No wood smoke drifting over sparkling, frosty fields, no Guy Fawkes. No baked potatoes wrapped in scalding tin foil found amongst the dying embers.

I call friends in Los Angeles, they ask smugly if I’m prepared for the winter. They have no idea. Windows, insulation, boiler… thick curtains thankfully saved from other draughty, Victorian mansions. The winter months do not scare me. Come winter, come freeze the air, let the first snow fall.

How many pairs of gloves will I lose this year?

I am happy in Tivoli, so are the dogs. They chase squirrels, rabbits and deer.

The Little Dog has been skunked twice. Good God! The second time I took him to the vet, where they washed him with some magical solution.   Better than being savaged by coyote or bitten by a rattlesnake… I suppose, cheaper to remedy. He’s such a brave, curious, foolhardy Little Dog.

Dude hasn’t been skunked once, he hangs back from anything mildly threatening. He learned to climb the steep stair in the new house, laboring one step at a time he finds us in bed then dances on two legs until I fetch him up.


I drive my old Mercedes into Hudson once a week. It’s a lovely town to visit but I hated living there. I hated it.  Frighteningly, I can’t remember the name of the road where I lived. Let me remember. Bellview, Fairview… PROSPECT!  Prospect Avenue, Hudson, NY.

So many irrelevant details scrubbed from the hard drive.  I will never forget that house.  That vile, ‘English Tudor’ house on the optimistically named Prospect Avenue. Overlooking the hospital; and a busy, dirty road.  The worst place (by far) I ever lived. Badly designed, badly renovated, so badly insulated: incapable of keeping heat in the winter or cool in the summer.

The house was haunted, not by angry ghosts moving things around or waiting in the corner… but melancholy, lonely women, dragging themselves up and down the stairs.  Most evident, the ghost of an elderly school teacher who spent twenty years peering from the sitting room window, equally scaring and delighting passing school children like a Halloween ghoul.

The house attracts lonely women.

Tanja Grunert, the current owner,  is the last of a long line.

So, I dedicate this blog post to her. To lonely Tanja whose life is more treacherous than a Hudson pavement in mid January.

The night I met Tanja she was wearing a huge black and white fur coat.  Like a skunk.

IMG_9720A short, stocky woman, she wears baggy jeans and tailored jackets. Her cropped, gray/mauve hair… cut hard around her masculine, pudgy face.   A smear of red lipstick, the only evidence she might be a heterosexual woman.

The night we met (by accident over steaming bowls of Asian broth) I should have run away.

Sadly, I have never had the resolve to run from a catastrophe.  As the towers came down I ran toward them.  There is something immediately alluring about Tanja, something fascinating.  From the moment we met I was hooked.  Some people are.  I’ll not be the first and I won’t be the last.  She crafted a first class art world career from a scintillating  first impression. 

That night Tanja focused her all on me, seducing and melting… gasping and fluttering, roaring her huge laugh.  After dinner she invited us to the house… that house.

Much later I understood the only time she threw back her head, roaring that infectious laugh, was used as part of a sinister, well rehearsed routine.  A carefully constructed formula.

We discovered we had many people in common, Jay Jopling, Samia Saouma and Benedict Taschen.

She told me how beautiful I was. Told me I was her ‘type’. I was clear about my sexuality, “I am a gay man.” I said, as she coquettishly batted her eyelashes, grabbed hold of my hand, inviting us back to her cold, empty house. “Oh I’m so sorry.” She bows deeply into every apology. She is a committed apologist. “English is my second language.”  During our cohabitation I must have heard her say a million times, “Excuse me if I don’t understand.”

It was a lie.  I knew from the beginning she understood everything very well. Yet, I chose to ignore her lies. I chose to ignore, that cold winter, her lies, her homophobia, her racism, her alcoholism and her delusion.

Tanja is an alcoholic.  She is the kind of binging alcoholic who convinces herself that because she doesn’t drink in the morning she doesn’t have a drinking problem…. but she drinks in the morning. She is the kind of alcoholic who convinces herself that because she doesn’t drink alone she isn’t an alcoholic… yet, she drinks alone. She is the kind of alcoholic who convinces herself that she isn’t an alcoholic because she doesn’t black out and wet the bed…

She drank wine by the bottle, chain-smoked cigarettes; listened to opera so loudly on her record player that good conversation became impossible. Drowning in Wagner, drowning not waving, into misery.

That night, my first visit to her house, she lit a fire in the huge, totally empty sitting room.  Her husband was gone. He had taken flight that summer. Taking with him the money (his fathers) and the possibility.  She told him: “You cannot come to the house in Hudson.” He said, “You can’t have money to furnish it.”

I said: “You have an empty house and I have furniture.”  She said “Yes!” immediately.

Listen for a moment. Stand back.  Re-read my offer and tell me what could possibly go wrong?

Obviously it was terrible mistake. Half measures avail us nothing. I had no right making a deal with this devil. She started texting and calling all day and all night.  She would introduce me to her friends as her boyfriend or her husband.  She’d tell everyone who would listen that she loved me.  I was living in the East Village. We had dinner in the city. Tanja tried making me pay for her expensive wine habit… I refused.

Instead, I moved in.

So began a slow, interminably slow, head on collision. Two cold, stubborn alcoholics buckling, catastrophically into one another.   I spent nearly a year at the house, firstly because I was entranced… then the doors began to slam behind me. The furniture arrived and she took what she wanted from my things. “Each thing more beautiful than the last.” She cooed.

My Gary Hume disappeared.

Because she is an unapologetic racist she made me hide my African art because black people do not interest her. They make her ‘think of slavery’. They ‘make me sad’.  “I would never sleep with a black man.”

She buys five tickets for the Bjork concert but can’t find anyone to come with us.  Finally she invites people who barely know her.  They say, “I don’t know her at all.” At the will call she’s told very clearly that her tickets are being exchanged for better tickets.  Tanja starts screaming. Screaming at everyone.  Kicking the theatre.  I stand back and watch her disgusting spectacle.  I take the tickets, tell her to shut the fuck up, lead her into the theatre.  We take our excellent seats at the front of the theatre.

Shocked by her behavior we walk in silence back to the car after the event, unable to discuss Bjork like normal people.  Like the normal people around us, happy and grateful to have seen Bjork.  Her tantrums, her temper, her screaming, her crying fits of righteous outrage and indignation became so regular I learned to ignore them.  

The winter was long and hard and cold.  Minus 23 degrees.  Unheard of upstate New York.  I found myself held hostage by the masculine German woman in the unfriendly house.

She refused to fill the oil tanks. The house froze.  The pipes burst.  The tiles fall from the bathroom walls. I fill the oil tanks myself, ferrying 10 gallon cans from a filling station five miles away. 

The chaos, her unmanagability became easier when the sun began to shine.

Spring came suddenly this year.  The original deal she reneged.  She wanted money.  Always desperate for cash.  Another good idea blown into a million pieces. I handed it over.

Her grasping, fat fingers.  Her solid, bruised, Teutonic arms quaffing wine, passing out, laying naked on her bed until she leaks yellow stinking piss all over herself.   Naked on her bed, not sleeping but unconscious. Laying like the dead waiting for the autopsy, naked on her back.   Acres of white flesh.   “We are always naked.” “We always talk to ourselves.” “We only eat from Fish and Game.”

She tells everyone that an important publisher has commissioned an auto-biography. She says that the money will come.

“We only write in the kitchen.”

“We hate mood lighting.”

She spends hours under the harsh light at the kitchen table tapping on her keyboard, claiming to write a book some grand publisher might (or might not) have commissioned. She says she’s researching but she’s on the internet trying to fill the consuming void her younger husband left when he scarpered last June.  Filling the gaping, suppurating wound with Internet dates on, okcupid and other… less salubrious sites. She shows me a thousand pictures of penis she has been sent.

Her less sexually ambitious female friends think she is a pioneer. This old queen knows she is a lonely, sleazy woman on the cusp of suicide.   In and out of Belleview. Unable to accept the truth.   Popping pills. She is poor, illegal and single.

Gay men seldom share the cache of penis we’ve been sent on line. Maybe the largest or the smallest. Maybe the most beautiful. She indiscriminately shows me every one. She wants me to know she is still relevant, that her menopause hadn’t knocked her through a hoop. (Like Samia before her.) But her boast falls on deaf ears. I look at her poker faced, disguising the pity I have for her.

There’s a young art dealer in town with a cool gallery, I buy art, he delivers the art to the house. He knows who she is. Curious to see where Tanja lives, he is surprised that the house is so clean. He expects to see a mountain of empty bottles. He tells me that she owes everyone money, him included.

“There’s a joke art dealers tell each other. They laugh about how long they’ve been in the art business. They say, I’ve been selling art so long… I remember when Tanja Grunert was hot.”

I reserved the most sympathy for her children who instinctively knew how selfish, self-obsessed and self pitying she and her ex husband are.   Both so eager to flee from her, like the men she meets on-line. A French man meets with her and tells me “Within a few minutes of phone conversation she offers to lick my ass.” to be his toilet. When he meets with her he says he could not fuck her because fucking her would be like “Fucking grandma.”

After meeting him she text messages twenty times an hour. She sobs, howls… when it becomes apparent that he is not interested in her. She wrings her hands and bangs her head into the wall, she blames everyone for her distress.

She meets another man and calls at 1am to ask where they can find a woman for some three way. I terminate the call.

Her teenage daughter watches as every man her mother meets on the internet lets her down. Steals what little she has left.  She has learned to keep quiet. She is biding her time, waiting for the day she can turn her back on them all.  

Tanja boasts that during her second pregnancy with the girl she was high on cocaine, drunk on alcohol every day for the first trimester.

Her insufferable, precocious, entitled, blue-eyed son lives with us for the summer. He leaves chaos and mountains of trash infested, after a few hot days, with maggots. He said, “You are the room mate, you must clean up after me.” I refuse.

I video the mess and send it to his mother. He is now at an expensive college in SF exploring his homosexuality, thankfully a long way from his gentle, yielding girlfriend who was often heard plaintively asking the teenager why he needed to hurt her to express his love.

The boy barely conceals his contempt for the girl. Like his mother, like his father, like his grandmother. Generational dysfunction.  Violence. Violent to others, violent to herself, Tanja told me her husband would beat her in the bedroom.  Not because he loved her… because he hated her.  The provenance of the son’s fledgling misogyny evident for all to see.

The son drinks until he passes out.  Naked on his bed.  His father drinks himself into a black out… she wets the bed. I could smell the piss before I saw it.

Her son wants to stay with me at the hotel.  I cling to the edge of the bed.  As far as I can from his yearning adolescence.  Tanja wants to know why he is so interested in me.  

For all of her gay friends, she is an unapologetic homophobe. She makes sneering jokes about ‘Your side’ and ‘Your people’ she tells me that I am ‘No use’ to her.  They are not jokes, they are evidence of her deep-seated homophobic resentment. For all the extraordinary gay men she surrounds herself, delighting them with her drama… she hates gay men. We are good for loans and art purchases. We loyally turn up at the hospital every time she half-heartedly overdoses.

When I brought that beautiful boy Spencer home, she asked if he was my boyfriend, then slandered me in German.  My school boy German catches every word.

Gay men know this: we all know that those determined to kill themselves rarely fail. The rest, like Tanja, merely crave the attention: cosseted in hospital beds, prescribed medicine, given the benefit of the doubt.

The gays around her provide the Greek entertainment.  The chorus.  Picking up the pieces.

At dawn, when she finally let me sleep. Before she falls into her bed, Tanja became sexually abusive. When we are on our own, if I’m the only person in the house she focuses her sexual violence on me.  Keeping me awake until dawn, drinking and smoking. Trying to touch me.

When, at the end, I mention that she is sexually harassing me and I could sue her… she smiles a smile only a torturer could have smiled and I saw very clearly into her rotten, stinking soul. She looked like the devil. I saw the devil smile. I will never forget that smile, for it was quite unlike anything I had seen before.

In the morning, by way of apology, she reminds me again that her mother had abused her. That she had hidden from the Nazis by living in a box under a mill, like a fairy-tale troll. After the war her mother had children and beat them. This was the excuse she gave for abusing me.

The same excuse. Again and again.

Excuses: excuses not to pay her artists, why the house would freeze and the pipes would burst.  Excused for not having insurance when Sandy hit Manhattan and filled her Chelsea gallery with raw sewage. Excuses for not paying her taxes, for not bothering to renew her visa.  Excuses why she never made a better job of killing herself. Excuses and apologies. One after another. A crocodile of dead infants snaking their way to hell.

After my painful pancreas operation, drowsy on meds she made me drive to the bank, fetch her $3000 and then punches me when I burst into tears. She apologizes immediately; she tells me that she was abused by her mother.   It’s too late. The summer is coming to an end. I hate her with such vigor. I hate being near her, I hate her voice, her smell, her proximity.

We drive back to the gallery where an angry artist is waiting for cash. Arms crossed.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand.”  She pleads with the angry artist.

At the end of August I empty the house of my possessions and I am free. 8 months of hell finally comes to an end.  I move to Tivoli.

Even after I am gone she demands money.  I have learned not to respond or engage.  A good lesson in restraint of pen and tongue.

Tivoli HotelDevon Gilroy

There are many wonderful things to recommend a visit to The Hotel Tivoli or The Corner Restaurant in Tivoli, Duchess County.   The exquisite decor, the art, the many celebrities who visit this tasteful oasis created by the sensationally successful artist Brice Marden and his imposingly chic wife Helen.  Adding The Hotel Tivoli to a burgeoning chain… they also own The Golden Rock Inn on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

Together with landscape architect Raymond Jungles, Brice and Helen have turned Golden Rock into something extraordinary: a jungly hideaway, with the artfully overgrown botanical gardens of a fantastical world. It’s impossible to tell where the gardens end and rainforest begins. Curious plants grow on a grand scale: giant palms, like fans of the gods; elephant’s ears so vast you can use them as parasols. On this island-in-the-sun you can almost hear them growing.

Without doubt the Mardens’ have exquisite taste and an eye for sensitive restoration.

The Hotel Tivoli, once the Hotel Madeleine is an imposing Victorian building on the corner of North Street and Broadway in the heart of charming Tivoli.  Apparently, when they bought it, it had seen better days.  The Mardens’ transformed the building from dull… to glamorous.  The startling restoration of this fine building has attracted many new faces to what was becoming a Bard dormitory town.  Indeed, the younger staff at the Hotel are all Bard attendees.

These optimistic, wealthy students who flush through the town every year, year after year lend the place a Southern Californian hippy vibe.  Youngsters hang out on stoops, out of windows, laughing and singing.

Tivoli HotelTivoli Hotel

The whole operation would be perfect were it not for the chef at The Corner, Billy Gilroy’s errant son Devon Gilroy.  Covered in Tattoos, clipped hair… I met him through one of his many, many ex girlfriends who he dumped unceremoniously… but continued fucking.

This good looking, bearish, slightly over weight young man is single handedly the fly in the luxurious ointment at The Corner Restaurant.  Despised by his wait staff and many of the women in the hotel, he bullies anyone and everyone in his kitchen.  Perhaps he thinks he needs to behave like Gordon Ramsey to be a great chef?  In fact, this screaming, shouting and abusive behavior has more to do with his insecurity than some mad, uncontrollable genius.

Only today one of his ex staff bemoaned how he treated her disrespectfully, reducing her to tears…  then, after a couple of days, Devon makes a simpering passive/aggressive faux amends.

Devon Gilroy is a very lucky boy.  Helen and Brice Marden sent him to Morocco to learn the ways of North African cuisine.  He came back with a lame Tagine and a recipe for ‘Moroccan street bread’… what ever that is.

During the Spring, after the harshest upstate winter,  I made a great effort and spent a lot of money supporting The Corner Restaurant, well before the summer rush.

There were occasion when my friends were the only party in the restaurant.

I introduced fancy architects, I took my celebrity dot com friends. I took artists and art collectors and gallery owners.  As the restaurant grew busier the food shrank in portion, the plating messier and the quality dwindled.  I took my very best English friends and a clumsy waitress spilled a bottle of beer on his head and over his white shirt.  No apology.  Nothing removed from the bill.

My early Yelp review raved about the place.  I wished it every success.  I have stayed in the Hotel twice.  The rooms are wonderful (I really wanted to write wonderful in Caps) and The Hotel remains without any serious competition for 100 miles.  I urge you to break the bank and stay in the Hotel Tivoli, eat the amazing breakfast (divine almond cakes and home made jam) but please don’t bother with dinner at The Corner, unless… you’re drinking at the spectacular marble bar.

(Hungry?  Drive six miles to Gaskin’s in Germantown for dinner.  A class act.)

Oddly, my later… less complimentary Yelp review was removed at the The Corner’s demand.

Pity they forgot my blog.  I didn’t.

Brice and Helen Marden run a money no object operation at the Hotel Tivoli.  It is a beautiful gift to the people of Tivoli.  Stuffed with iconic, contemporary furniture and millions of dollars of art.  A true gem.  There is a huge portrait of Helen at the top of the stairs by Francesco Clemente.  It is without doubt one of the finest hotels in the state of old New York.

I’m sure that with well trained servers and a new, less tyrannical chef, (working along side Nancy the excellent GM and Jeannette the elegant maitre d’)  this star restaurant will rightfully sparkle in the local firmament.

Brunch Hotel TivoliHelen Marden by Clemente

 I took a picture of this boy last night.  He is fucking gorgeous.


There is something all at once despicable and wonderful about small town living.  Small town people are small town people for a reason. They are exactly the same the whole world over… unless they’re living a double life (NYC and Upstate) after a few years… their brains begin to atrophy.  They are left behind, destined for a life of small minded, tight-lipped misery.

Hudson is just like Whitstable.  I’m used to the small town narrative.

Like Whitstable, every weekend Hudson fills with the fabulous and the not so fabulous.  They arrive on packed trains from the city and in expensive SUVs.  Yet, it is those stuck upstate season after season toiling year after year in Hudson or in outlying communities that are most damaged.  As hard as I try steering myself clear from these half baked personalities and the inevitable drama, one is drawn to both like a moth to a flame.

They, the hapless year-rounders, want to know you as much as they don’t want to know you.  When they meet you they quickly establish if you are a threat to their superiority.  They want to feel superior.  They gobble up half-truths on google.  They regurgitate everything they think they know to whom ever will listen.

As I’ve written previously it is with neurotic, heterosexual, single, childless women that I have most trouble.

This week I had a run in with a woman who was in the habit of dumping dog shit over her fence and onto my land, then there’s a female fag-hag realtor related to the Woolworth family and recently fired from her realty business… after meeting me she called her ex relatives in Hollywood to spread misinformation… and then… most tragically an ex editor who limps from crowd to crowd soliciting sympathy for her bad choices wherever and whenever she can.

The realtor, Pamela Murphy is the poor cousin of producer Cassian Elwes rich ex-wife.  She used to work for the very posh Hudson realtor Mary Mullane.  The first time I met Pamela she spent an hour degrading Mary (who fired her) in a way I knew she would eventually degrade me.  When it happened (as I knew it would) I called and reminded her that her shrill, unsophisticated demeanor had caused her to be a terminally single fag hag.  That and her obvious alcohol abuse problem.

Hudson heterosexual males aren’t so bad.  I’ve met a good-looking dog whisperer and an ex LA gay for pay property developer.

Mind you, the weekenders are not immune from pettiness. The ‘blond’ art dealer and her gay business partner have a couple of drinks and abuse her hapless husband.  The slim, gay interior decorator with floppy hair confides that his business partner’s husband is lazy, that he doesn’t have a job, that the art dealer supports him… that she should never have married him.

That’s the problem with gay men… they want their best women pals married to them.

Listen, I am in opposition to most things.  A legacy from fighting for my gay life since I was 13 years old.  You don’t like gays?  Fuck you.  You don’t want gay people to shove their lifestyle down your throat?  Let me shove this gay shit down your fucking throat.


I meet everyone who passes through Hudson.  Bumping into legendary Micky Wolfson and iconic Joseph Holtzman the creator of Nest magazine, or the terrible Rob Roth (momentarily without Deborah Harry’s balls in his mouth) but escorting the totally insane Parker Posey.  Sticking out her hand.  “Hello, my name is Parker Posey.”

So, when I bumped into Bruce Cohen and Gabe his charming, much younger husband and their adorable daughter on Warren Street last weekend I was not entirely surprised.   Bruce is looking haggard.  He still has shoulder length, curly blond thinning hair, he looks like a straight stoner who can’t bring himself to get another look.  As if his long curly blond hair defines who he is.

He’s a great producer but seemingly no longer with producing partner Dan Jinks.  Remember it was they who asked me to direct Liberace starring Michael Keaton.  Anyway, I wondered what he was up to and he said he was developing a gay history series with Dustin ‘Lance’ Black and Cleve Jones.  I nearly threw up my breakfast.  I couldn’t think of anything worse than a Lance Black gay history series created to ‘educate’ straight people.  A Lance Black whitewashing of our history from the arbitrary starting point of Stonewall.  I went on… why are you working with that idiot?  Why not George Chauncey, Neil Bartlett, Stephen Fry… anyone but fucking Lance Black and Cleve Jones.  Thankfully Bruce’s husband agreed.

And what about gay people of color I asked?  Queer culture?  Oh, Bruce reassured me, “We have a black man,” adding weakly, “We’re telling his story.”  But let’s face it.  Bruce and Lance aren’t interested telling the black gay story… because this show is for white straight people.  What about lesbians I demanded?  He buckled.  Realizing that his white gay male documentary was going to be a big pile of exclusionary SHIT.

It galls me that people like Lance and Bruce get to tell our history… where were they when I was being visible at 13?  Where were they when others were taking direct action for Outrage or Act Up?  I’ll tell you what they were doing… they were hiding under the covers.  Cowed by religiosity and gay fear.

I register their distaste.  These gays.  These cowardly white gays.  Those white gays who rode on the coat tails of those of us who confronted the status quo.  Whilst I was reminding straight people in the 1980’s how lucky they were to enjoy our clubs and bars, whilst I let them know that I did not enjoy the same privileges they took for granted… and risked their violent ire.  Bruce and Lance were thinking only of themselves, propping up the white patriarchy.

Whilst i was making queer films and queer plays for queer people without deferring to straight people… men like Bruce and Lance and every gay male agent I met at all the big Hollywood talent agencies were telling me to stop telling queer stories because there was no future in it.  Future = Money.


The day is bright and humid.  The endless hum of lawn mowers, all summer long.  The grass grows lush and green.  The trees heavy with monstrous leaves and creeping vines.  Gold and purple wild flowers a meter high at the side of the road: Golden Rod, Deptford Pink and Bouncing Bet.

The Hudson River meanders gently toward the city, decorated at its marshy edge with great swathes of invasive water chestnut.  Feeding the lazy Hudson River, fast moving creeks course down the mountain, over shallow rocky beds and over the curvaceous, verdant landscape, dramatic water falls, giddy tributaries.  Vast, flat abandoned reservoirs formerly providing local industry with renewable energy.  Magnificent 19th Century, red brick factories stand empty, patiently waiting for a thousand weavers to march through the mahogany doors and start weaving again.

The land like the water resources here in upstate New York remains mostly uncultivated.  That California with no water still provides America with the majority of its fruit and vegetables while this verdant place remains fallow.

No lawn mowers in the Santa Monica Mountains.  Just the wheeling of the hawks, the booming crash of the waves at night rolling up the canyon with the morning mist.  They ask me if I miss Malibu.  They wonder why I would trade Malibu for this.  I had 12 good years in LA before I had my last rather complicated… year and a bit.  Do I miss it?  No, not really.  I miss my house, I miss slopping around that huge room.  Looking at the ocean.  The dogs finding patches of sunlight.  I don’t miss the rattlesnakes or the coyote.  I don’t miss the brush clearance.  I don’t miss the winding road to the PCH.  I miss the prestige of having the house.  I do.

Misty Morning

The magnificent pines at the back of the house, the Brazilian Orchid Tree, the figs, lemons and cherimoya.   I wonder who takes care of the carp?  I wonder if the gophers invaded the garden this year?  I wonder if they fixed everything I never got around to?

As one grows older it is harder to make sense of change.  Rapid, inexplicable change.  This is the great secret of the third age.  We are less adaptable.  We seek comfort and safely.   It is hard to imagine what will come next.Final Day

1. No, not me.  I’m still sober.  Sobriety date: October 1, 1996.

It’s true, I’ve not stayed sober in the romance and finance programs.  Very difficult.  Very, very difficult.   No masturbation.  No porn.  Writing money inventories… bloody nora.  It’s the objectification and the intriguing that’s so bloody hard.  No gawping or flirting.

So, we drove back from Provincetown.  After witnessing our friend (poor soul) experience a catastrophic breakdown.  A monumentally ugly relapse.  Part prescription drugs, part menopause, part work pressure.

She thinks she’s a washed up actress, she thinks there’s no future.  She never really got humble about her limited talent.  She left LA with her tail between her legs.  Some people say she was an LA hooker…. when things got tough.  I don’t know about that.  I don’t have an opinion about that.  It’s okay by me.

Watching a friend fall apart.   Blaming and resenting the world.  Unable to look at her part in anything.  Her responsibility.  It’s everyone’s fault but hers.  The sailor owes her money, the owner of the theatre will not speak to her, she’s lying to her parents so she can pay for a lifestyle beyond her means.  Her neighbors are assholes.  Her brother has no humanity, the woman who made a show with her last year is a ‘bitch’, the band she played with all last summer are insensitive assholes… they don’t know how to treat a real artist.

So much of what we learn in the rooms of AA, owning our part in any or all situations, keeping our side of the street clean, a quick apology when one is wrong.  None works for her.

When she doesn’t get her own way she starts screaming.  Now, she’s screaming at me.  She’s screaming at my friend.  Her rasping voice, her old lady petulance.  She starts on me.  Bad idea.  She screams what people scream when they are full of hate, she’s raking up my past and remaking it to her own recipe.

Screaming.   Screaming usually upsets me.  If someone hits me… I want to hit them back but I’ve learned to do something recently, something that has profoundly altered my behaviour.  I’ve learned to record everything.  Any potentially difficult situation… I press record.  I’m like Andy Warhol.

I find it so hard to keep my temper when my security is threatened… but I manage very well when I know I’m being watched.  Even if it’s my own phone watching me.  The tapes of her screaming are very sad.  I couldn’t watch them for long.  She’s screaming but she looks so fragile, washed up, isolated.

I stay out of her way.

Finally, she’s cruel to the dog, she didn’t know I was watching… I could see everything.   I saw her sweep his legs from under him when he was suffering with Lyme disease lameness.  He yelped as he slumped to the ground.

I say, “That’s not very sober… you have different choices here… you can do this differently... ” But she’s so consumed by righteousness indignation and I’m recording every word.


The aftermath of the great marriage equality win.

Gay pride started as a demonstration.  A few brave people marching in the rain.  My friend Rose Collis marched in the violent 1980 London Pride.  The police arrested the drag queens and beat them up.  Then they harassed those who tried to help.  There were more police than demonstrators.  That’s how dangerous we were to the establishment.

Some of us have been in opposition to the establishment for many years.  Now we are not.  We say, “We are just like you.”  Some say,  “We let go of being the other.”  Some say, “We want what what you have but we are still unique.”  If gay people truly want equality then invisibility is a byproduct of being just like everyone else.

If we don’t have the issue of equality around which to coalesce, what’s next?

Now we are equal do we need gay culture?  Gay film festivals?  Gay and lesbian bookshelves?  Gay pride?  Gay resorts? Gay AA? All of these conceits which used to be safe places for gay people to get together… surely we need none of them?  Our aim, obviously, is invisibility.  But for the affirming Pride Parade.  No longer a demonstration.  Always a celebration.

Only people in opposition to the status quo need demonstrate, need to ‘be seen’ as evidence that they exist, that they are no longer frightened or cowed by the establishment. We are the establishment, some would say we are the new elite.

Personally, I find the Irish Parade in New York very annoying.  Why does it happen?  Okay, so there are Irish people… and they drink a lot… and they wear green. Is that it for us? Is this what Pride becomes?  We are gay people and we drink a lot and we wear rainbows… if we wear anything at all? Is that it? Just a rainbow side-show? For the entertainment of all.  A flimsy excuse to get drunk, take drugs and get laid?

The bars and clubs fill with straight people because there are many more of them than us.  The resorts are sold to rich straight people because there are many more of them than us.  Soon everything we created to be safe, enjoy own special gay lives… will be gone.  Is this equality?  Is this integration?

The parade is just a parade of clowning gay men showing off their various pick up app related labels.  The twink float, the daddy float, the bear float, the leather float.  Maybe soon we will be represented by huge gay themed balloons… dancing merrily up 6th Avenue.  Balloons that cannot upset the children or insult one or another young person whose ‘safety’ is threatened by the wrong word, the wrong intonation, the wrong idea of the past.

I found myself standing on the outside of the marriage equality celebrations yesterday.  Feeling very British.  Feeling like we achieved this years ago… even if it was called Civil Union.  Feeling like it doesn’t matter anyway.  None of this is going to affect me.  Not now.  Even so, the SCOTUS announcement seemed to make many people very, very happy.

Rainbows decorated everything, The Whitehouse, important monuments, even this WordPress admin page.  I am gay, I am the rainbow.  This celebration is all for me and people like me.  Why then… did I not want to weep, why didn’t I want to cover my profile picture with a rainbow gauze?

300 white gays and lesbians marched up Commercial Street in Provincetown.  Chanting and singing and weeping, behaving like they had been emancipated, that they were finally free.  I peeled off the main drag and sat with straight people watching a tribute band as part of the Portuguese Festival.  I wandered the Clam and Lobster Bake tent.  700 lobsters getting boiled alive.  Gallons of clam chowder, a ton of roast potatoes.  The two worlds only meters apart… one oblivious to the other.  No less relevant.

Apparently, many people had been waiting for this moment for a very long time.  They had been waiting for marriage for all.  They hash tagged everything with #lovewins.  People expressed themselves emotionally on social media.  They had never dared think that marriage for them would happen in their lifetime.  Some had felt ‘shame’ all their lives because marriage was not an option.  They felt like ‘crying’ because they could now get married.  White folk told me they no longer felt like ‘second class citizens’.  Some people are leaving town, driving five hours, so they can enjoy NYC Pride.  They want to enjoy the full experience of what it means to be ‘equal’.

The sham of equality.

As I sat with the poor working class Portuguese, watching their faux rock band, their children dancing, their elders tapping their feet.  I wondered what marriage had brought these people.  This patriarchal conceit.  The women are still paid less than the men, the opportunity to work several jobs still cannot yield them a decent wage.  A block away people who can afford multi million dollar homes, overlooking the water were celebrating their ‘freedom’.  White people who would never know what it feels like to be observed suspiciously, to be threatened daily by the state, people who I heard sneering at the poor.

My brush with the closeted gay Nazi last week had unsettled me.  I confided in Michael C my worst fears for our community, that we may be witnessing a schism.  Powerful white gay men and their right-wing agenda… and everyone else.  Let’s be clear, those white men who are now white trans women are just as likely to adopt the rhetoric of the new, gay right.

Michael assured me that the boy was anomaly.   I want to believe him.

The two white gay men who hosted the fund-raising event for gay baiting Ted Cruz in NYC an anomaly?  The anomalous gay men who tell me they are socially liberal and fiscally conservative?  The HRC with their Chevron sponsorship is an anomaly?  The corporate appropriation of gay pride… an anomaly.   In the UK, openly far right UKIP supporting gay men and women march in the Pride Parade.  And astoundingly, the white gay movement thinks nothing of stealing from the black and PoC movement.

These are not isolated incidents.  This is a trend.  This is the future.  Over the rainbow there is a pot of gold.

Finally, after much soul-searching, I understood what was happening with me yesterday.  Why I couldn’t embrace the joy others were expressing.  

When I was a child I felt no shame for being gay, as I have said many times before: coming out was an act of social terrorism.  At 13 I thought to myself, “These people hate me for something I cannot change. Therefore I will devote my life to punishing them.  To shoving this down their throat.”

I did not look at my mother’s wedding ring and hanker after a white, lace dress.  I looked at her ring for what it was: a shackle, the key to her own jail cell. I was thrilled that I would never aspire to wear one.  I refused to attend weddings.   Being gay meant that I could write my own rules, that I could love whomever I wanted.  If marriage wasn’t an option then we would rise above these social tyrannies.

Never did I think to myself: my life would be so much better if I was married.  I never felt excluded from life.  I did not sit on the side lines cheering… whilst others fought on my behalf.

I was happy that being gay afforded me opportunities that my heterosexual peers could not… or would not enjoy.   The opportunity to be free of social convention.  Of course, those like me… used the inequality argument, that we were forced by the state to be different, to our advantage.  When I made the decision to tell everyone I loved men, confirming what they already suspected, I knew immediately that I was not alone.  Men made themselves known to me.  But, even then, many gay men disappointed me.  Scared, bitchy, bullied, parochial, lacking curiosity.

I wanted to make people aware of our difference, our struggle, I wanted to hold my lovers hand in the street without it becoming an act of rebellion.  

In 1984 a group of artists made a performance called Pornography: a Spectacle for the publicly funded ICA in central London… we talked openly about the men we loved and the sex we were having, it was incredibly successful, filling the theatre with like minded gay men.

Think about this.  In 1984, we were performing a publicly funded play about gay sex less than a mile from the homes of Margaret Thatcher and the Queen.

We were revolutionaries.

Now we are not.

I am forced to consider the unthinkable.  Was my gay life worthless because marriage was not an option? Would I have made different choices if marriage had been available to me?  Would I have met a man and settled down, applauded by my heterosexual peers?  Would there have been more men interested in the same scenario? The heteronormative dream of marriage and children?

And what now?  Will the quality of gay lives change?  Will homophobia become a distant memory?  Will religious organizations embrace us?  Can queer people of color expect to be treated differently by white gays?  Will women get the support they need from gay men to achieve equal pay and opportunity?

Yesterday, I felt happy that the war was won.  But, I did not feel like the victor.  It was not my war.  It is not my war.  The gay party has moved on.  They are on the inside now.  I am still on the outside.  For the time being I am going to sit here quietly with the dispossessed.  Those who others hate for no reason but for the color of their skin, their gender identity, their poverty, their uterus, their immigration status.

These are my people now.

This morning the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality is the law of the land.

Now that the marriage equality battle has been won, let’s see if gay white men can talk about the needs of other people… like women and people of color.  Let’s see if they can confront their own racism and misogyny?

Shame on those gay men who sneered at the brave trans woman Jennicet Gutiérrez who confronted President Obama at his cozy lgbtq brunch!  Jennicet was violently berated by gay white men for shouting at the president.  As it turns out there is no polite way to be heard over the chorus of gay white men sucking on President Obama’s ass.

As I found out when I was housed in the LA County Jail trans women are regularly abused by the deputies charged with their protection.  As I have written before I saw women made to lap dance for deputies, their breasts fondled… and on two occasions I saw trans women beaten for no reason.

I had a long walk through Provincetown with Queer Director of Paris is Burning, Jennie Livingston.  We had a lovely time.  I talked at length about my own gender issues, the therapy I was having and my ultimate conclusion about the trans community.

Jennie Livingston

For me, I do not believe (after two years of therapy) that I can accurately claim that there is another me trapped in the wrong body.  I do not have a women’s brain, I do not have the experience of being a woman or a girl.  I do have the experience of being an effeminate homosexual.  I have the experience of attraction to hyper masculine men or straight men.  I know gay men who had breast implants and hormone therapy to act on those desires, to recreate themselves so that they might be more attractive to straight men.  I did not.

I can tell you absolutely that there is a soul I wish to make free that seeks to escape my body but it is not the soul of a woman.  I can tell you that as I grow older I can finally admit that I have no relationship with my penis.  I can tell you that if I were to have had gender reassignment therapy as a young man I would have identified as bisexual because I seek the comfort and strength of a straight man and the love and affection of a woman.  Neither would expect me, in my ideal world, to have a penis.

My Spring Kilt

Why isn’t it ok to say this:  Rather than adopt the definitive gender of a man or woman as per the current trans agenda (as I understand it) I prefer to wear the clothes of my choice, to have plastic surgery that remakes my face and body as I see fit (as do millions of men and women world-wide) and change pronouns as befits my understanding of the way I want to be perceived… that I am a creation of my own delight.  I am NOT a biological woman trapped in an unyielding male shell but an all together more exotic creature who loves to express myself as I shall determine.  I was never a little girl, I do NOT have a woman’s brain.  I am my own special creation.

I do not need your validation to be who I am.  But I do need you to treat me and people like me with care, consideration and respect.

On occasions when I have dressed and worn make up two things happened:  I was told that I was ‘too masculine’ to be anything other than a man.  And on one occasion a so-called enlightened cabaret performer saw fit to remove my make up at the dinner table.  I did not have the luxury of Bruce Jenner’s effortless apotheosis.

Here is a spring album to cheer you up.


The plane is landing.  I can feel something in my belly.  It begins as a dull thud, worsening… as if a hand is gripping onto something inside me.  The pain radiates into my back, sharpening as it reaches my flank.  I breath deeply because the seat belts have to be fastened.  As we hit the land I feel nauseous and sweaty.  My heart is racing.  Then I am asleep.  We have landed, they are already waiting with their hand luggage.  The woman besides me lets me know that it’s time to leave the aircraft.  I walk to the carousel to pick up my luggage.  I lean in to fetch my second bag and I faint.  As my head hits the woman beside me, breaking my fall, I wake up.  An asian woman fetches me a small bottle of water.  I get a taxi into town and wonder what I should do.  I call the hospital and the insurance company. For the next few hours I wait in the emergency room.  They check everything and finally refer me to a pancreatic specialist.  A few days later I meet him.  He is personable, he wants to do very specific tests to my pancreas. A week later I am laying in the hospital.  Before I am taken on the gurney into the room where the complicated tests will take place the kindly doctor says, “I’ll only perform a biopsy if we find something nasty.”   I lay calmly.  The anesthetist asks how I’m feeling.  I wasn’t really feeling anything.   I feel the first flush of anesthetic.  “Oh, am I going under?”  I giggle like I’m drunk.  She said, laughing, “It’s just like two glasses of wine, that’s what I’ve given you… two glasses of wine.”  And that’s what it felt like.  Two glasses of wine.  When I wake up he has performed a biopsy.  So, I endure ten days of waiting before I find out everything is ok.  Everything is fine.


For months… I’ve not written my blog. But urgent commentary needs listened to sooner… rather than later.

I didn’t care about the implication of the biopsy. Because I’m a pathetic alcoholic the first thing I say to my friend who is there to escort me home?  “They gave me two glasses of wine!”

This observation masked my real concern. I am thinking about other, more important, more… pressing issues. Issues that have plagued me for years.  When I think I am in love… nothing really matters.

I wanted to know the result but I was not wedded to it. I wasn’t in a relationship with the result.  Until it’s delivered. I stay out of the result.  It’s none of my business… until it is.


I still think about it.


This is a picture of a barn I am buying.


I’m early at the club for breakfast. It’s empty save for the worlds most beautiful boy lounging on an oversized velvet sofa. I catch the eye of the beautiful boy.  There are always beautiful boys.  But some of them send out something unexplained that I can catch hold of and make mine.  If only for a few moments.

We hover around the breakfast spread, he’s pretending to choose juice.

I want to tell him how handsome he is but I ask him instead about his grapefruit juice.

We sit on the sofa and gaze at each other and he tells me everything without saying a single word. He says, “Nobody knows about me. Nobody can ever know. Will you do to me what men can do? Together?” Instead of saying no, instead of telling him that this isn’t going to work… instead of saying fuck off beautiful boy because you are going to break my heart… again.

Instead of saying no. After the hospital, after the first round of scans and shit. We’re on a train to Hudson. His huge feet and hands and thighs… brushing up against me.  We are on a train and I am overwhelmed with expectation. He says, we are just going to cuddle but we end up in a hotel room in Tivoli doing everything I had longed to do when I first looked into his big green eyes and I think to myself. Let me love you. Let me fall in love with you just as long as you are here.

“Duncan, are you insane? Can’t you hear the melancholy, wailing sirens warning ’bout the rocks in the ocean.”

“Don’t blind me, guide me through the foggy night.” I implore.

Roy told investigators that he saw waves breaking on the reef and turned abruptly, swinging the side of the hull into the reef.

“I have to take responsibility for the fact that I made a judgment error… I ordered the turn too late.”

The night became the morning and the dawn rose over two tangled bodies. He is a perfect man. His hairy chest and wrists. His red lips, his thighs wrapped around my neck. His huge white alabaster cock so far down my throat, I could hear him gasp with pleasure.  He is a professional athlete, he speaks six languages, he is vain and arrogant and lies about money… and other silly things but none of it matters when you look into his big green eyes and you fall… fall in love.

He adds yeast to every story he tells. He says, “I’m adding yeast to this story. It’s not big enough. It needs to be BIGGER.”

He stays with me for four blissful days. Of course there are complications. He mimics my accent because he speaks six languages and he wants to speak mine. He pretends to be English at dinner with my friends. He’s behaving like a dick. Why? Of course there are complications. We talk about his gay father, I teach him to have compassion and forgiveness. I teach him how to forgive his father.  There are complications because he is managing his honesty like some people manage their money.  He is out to his parents but not out to everyone else.  He wants the best job but knows he can’t have it… if he’s gay.

We talk about a defining celebrity incident (him and some girl) written all over the internet. It’s funny, the lies written about him are funny and endearing.

We dress him up in my clothes. We buy him gallons of green juice. We introduce him to friends and acquaintances. We attend an AA meeting. We fight about money. He recalls his one year relationship with a boy he met on-line with a drink and drug problem. He describes the terrible fights. His inability to leave. Did he love the boy? Has he ever loved a man?

I tell him that I love him. We make love. He cums a great deal. I don’t spill a drop.

The following day he tells me that a certain shirt I have picked out to wear is ‘too gay’.  I can’t be seen with him wearing that.  I suppress my annoyance.  I want to hold on to this gift as long as I can.  But all at the same time I’m boiling over because this is the same sort of gay man who defends a trans person’s right to be themselves… but not mine.  This is the contradiction of being a modern, white gay man.

At a candle lit dinner in the Palladian mansion of a local baron, his mother texts him. She has the dirt… on me. All those ghastly queens leaving anonymous lies all over the internet, she’s picking through them like a beggar over land fill. It’s not her fault. She has to save him. And eventually… she does.

I am forced to ditch the bonhomie and explain myself, explain why there’s so much out there. That I didn’t care. I say, “You shouldn’t care!” But he does. That’s my public life. You, for the time being, are my private life.  There’s a silent drive home. There’s nothing I can do to placate him.

I meet two kinds of gay people… those who care about what they read… and those who don’t. Those who care are worried that others might judge them for knowing me. They are scared. Scared that the perfect gay veneer of their lives will be shattered irrevocably by me. Especially the gays. Radical straight people think I’m a fucking hero… but the gays are seldom radical.  Increasingly right-wing, closed-minded, striving for perfection.

He balked. I reminded him there were lies written about him too… but soon realized that on those lies he had built his brand. It suited his closet to be lined with clippings from a moment in time when others had lied about him and he refused to disabuse them. The truth is… his mother would rather he date a meth addict than me.

Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlin Jenner and makes a perfect argument for reinvention. Aren’t we all trapped in the wrong body? Why shouldn’t we all build our authentic selves? Live our own truths?

His truth was up to him… my truth, as it turned out, was up to his mother and google.

After a few days he leaves with my heart and my Rolex. He texts occasionally.  He tells me not to introduce him to anyone, that we can only meet on our own.  He lists things we cannot mention if we are with other people.

“I’m scared you’re going to write my name in your blog and post pictures of me.”

I am inspired to write my blog, I haven’t written it for months.  I’m trying to wean myself away from you my darling blog.  A few days after… he intimates that I’m just a meaningless interlude, an elderly uncle he wouldn’t mind having breakfast with if it suits his schedule.  It is dawning on me (I’m a fool) that he wanted someone richer, more powerful, less controversial, a larger apartment in Manhattan.  He already dated a billionaire, he has the numbers of famous actors in his phone.  Yes.  Like so many young white gay men… he’s looking for a merger and an acquisition.  Later that week we bump into each other at the club.  I’m with my German friend, he scoffs (in German) at how many women I’ve slept with.  He assumes I don’t understand.

He speaks six languages but doesn’t expect me to understand any of them.

So, I hit the rocks and capsize. I had a fair warning.

We crammed a five-year, gay love affair into four days. It’s all I can expect. It’s all I know. The beautiful man is gone and I am left with beautiful pictures… and another story to write.

Hudson, where I have been spending the majority of my time, is a small town crammed with big personalities. The older gay men are sour and drunk. The ancient art dealer is ‘scary’, the realtor is a ‘bitch’ the antiques sales man has nowhere else to run… run out of New York City. I am familiar with men like this and on the whole sympathetic.  These men are too old and too single to find someone to marry or buy into the modern gay aspiration of family, children and heteronormativity.  It is particularly sad because they fought hard for others to enjoy freedom and equality but now stand on the outside of gay life.

Equality came to late for many of these men.  I understand their bitterness.

Someone asked me at dinner what I thought of Hudson.  Well, I looked at him for a second.  “It’s not what you think.”  I explained my problem.  There are a large number of successful women in their late forties and fifties on the hunt for appropriate men.  I have never felt so assailed by straight women as I do in Hudson.

It is an almost daily occurrence: coming out to some disappointed women who wants to fuck me. One woman, when she found out I was queer… was utterly infuriated. “You should wear a sign on your head.”  She spat.  For those of you who don’t know… queer men have to come out a lot, some times everyday, throughout their lives. Coming out is NOT a one shot deal unless you’re famous.

Carolyn Roumeguere is tall and French. She has a broad face, flowing hair and wears cowboy boots and mini skirts… even in mid winter. Raised in Africa, Carolyn is a local Amazonian socialite. Ostensibly a jewelry designer she lives in a converted barn crammed with bad African art.

I met Carolyn at the local bakery. She was making a huge racket about something or other, inviting comment. She looked coquettishly at me and asked if I were English when she heard me ordering coffee. Within three minutes she was sobbing on my shoulder about the death of her husband and how incredibly, indescribably difficult her life was since his death. She bemoaned how hard she worked to raise their three children, to build her home and guest house. Her life as a widow seemed intolerable. I fully conceded that her life must be horrible and held her in my arms.

She took my number, invited me to her house that very afternoon and went on her way. I didn’t go to her house. I resisted her invitations for a week or so. After a week, I thought, she would have googled me and found out everything she needed to know to make a decision about whether she wanted to get more involved.

Finally, I accepted her invitation. The night of the dinner my car died. I had a friend drop me off at Carolyn’s house.

From the moment I entered the house I knew I was in the wrong place. The party was ghastly, the food unpalatable, the ten guests a bunch of humorless wax works. I sat between an ex magazine editor recently jettisoned (publicly and cruelly) by her misogynistic publisher and a Russian oligarch’s wife.

The Russian was scouting for a liberal art school for her daughter. She was imperious as only the Russians can be. As it turned out (a little Internet sleuthing) she is very close to President Putin. She told us that Putin ‘laughs at America’ and ‘sneers at black Obama’.

Opposite, sat a thin, elderly woman whose pinched, wrinkled face peered at me curiously as she sucked on the over cooked salmon. She claimed to be a film financier, she told elaborate independent film stories. She sat with her ruddy, land owning boyfriend. When she couldn’t remember one of her dull stories she would prod her farmer consort to furnish details that slipped her mind.

Beside the elderly film financier sat a slack-jawed, floppy haired English public school boy called James Holland (well into his fifties) who claimed loudly that he was in love with Diandra Douglas.  James told stories about Diandra and how funny it was that they took drugs before visiting Diandra’s addict son in prison. I have no idea if his claims were true. He’s the sort of Englishman abroad who paints a more colorful picture than the sepia life he actually lives.  He grilled me about my schooling. I told him that I went to an unknown hippy school in Dorset. “Bryanston?” He barked. The salmon swam back up my throat on a river of piquant Hollandaise.

The louche forty-five year old woman to the left of the editor draped over the back of her chair.  Her un-washed… matted hair, her velveteen pant suit smelling of sweat and vodka. She shared unsolicited details of her upcoming wedding to a wild Italian called Giancarlo. The plans included tequila shots, narcotics, Ayahuasca and an orgy.  Giancarlo is the film making partner of Tao Ruspoli the Italian aristocrat formerly married to Olivia Wilde.  Miss Louche couldn’t understand why I would want to give up drinking… or drugs.  Perhaps, I thought, because I don’t want to look like you.

There were other less memorable men around the table… one being Carolyn’s current beau. Then, incongruously… a young, boy/man with huge arms, thighs and a brooding disposition. The boy sat protectively by Carolyn. I wondered if this hunk was her son? It turns out that this boy is just one of Carolyn’s many sexual conquests.  The 20-year-old son of her best friend who predatory Carolyn had seduced whilst he was a sculpture major at Bard College.

I applauded Carolyn’s sexual tenacity, yet, for the first time, after hearing about the seduction of the boy,  I felt rather sorry for her. Years of going to sex addict meetings I concluded that she and I have many… similarities. A string of sexual encounters with inappropriate local men have led her nowhere.  She is Powerless over her addiction and her life is Unmanageable.

Carolyn’s precocious son sat in another room.  A deeply unhappy looking child. This sullen, perilously over weight pre-teen, demanded our adult attention by hitting things with a measuring tape.  He told us loudly some scientific fact he had researched on the Internet and how he knew more than his teachers. I quietly asked the ex-editor if the son has Asperger syndrome. She looked sadly at the child, “She won’t take him to a therapist.” she confided.  A bad mother never wants to take her child to a therapist knowing that is it she and not the child that will have to do the hard work it takes to make a child well again.

I wanted to call a cab but the ex-editor very kindly offered to drive me home.

On our way to Hudson I told her how I’d met Carolyn and how ghastly I thought both she, her friends and the party. I told her Carolyn had cried on my shoulder in the bakery. She laughed, she told me that Carolyn and her husband had been separated for years… they weren’t even married… that he was married to someone else with whom he had a child.

“So, she uses her husband’s death as a lure? For sympathy?” I asked. She smiled and refused to answer.

Meanwhile, in Hudson, a straight rich South American man says my films would be ‘so much better’ if they were about straight people.  Lordy, I hadn’t heard that sort of crap for a long time.   I gently chided him,  how insulting he was being.  What a prick!  I asked him if he thought white people playing Latin roles might make films better too?  He shuts the fuck up.

Hudson Art Party

This is a picture of a beautiful art party at the Basilica.


Finally, it is impossible not to mention the continuing race atrocity here in the USA after the shooting deaths of 8 black people in a Charleston church during an evening prayer meeting.  A young, blond white boy with racist and apartheid sympathies takes his gun and kills innocent black people.  There is an outpouring of grief from my white friends on Facebook.  Yet, few of them address their own racism.  They say, the kid who pulled the trigger looks like the devil.  The problem is, this kid did not look like he came from hell, on the contrary… he just looks like any ordinary white boy. It is his ordinariness that is shocking. It is his stated racist intention that is shocking. But what is more shocking are all the white folk who cannot bring themselves to address his racism or their own. They say. There are no words. Yes, there are words. Words used by the right include: accident, mistake, loner. Words like, they deserved what they got because they wouldn’t have guns in their church. He is just another entitled white boy who hates black people because he can. Look at the haunted expressions of prescription drug addicted teens who commit these atrocities. A parade of white American faces on the TV who refuse to address their own racism. Whilst the black victims family say words like, forgive, reconciliation and prayer. It isn’t good enough to tell everyone else that they are racist without owning up to the racism that affects my own psyche. Pervasive and insidious racism that gets worse every year I live in the USA.  To my gay friends I say this:  Ask yourself… How many black friends do I have? How many gay men say… I don’t sleep with black men because I’m just not into them, they don’t turn me on. That, I’m afraid, is racist. We refuse to value black lives. Until we address our own racism these problems will not go away. Ask gay black people or gay people of color if they encounter racism in gay bars and clubs and they will tell you horrible stories.  If you care about the lives of black people before they are murdered make yourself heard.  Reach out.  #blacklivesmatter



While few of us would think to ridicule Jews for still harboring less than warm feelings for Germans some 70 years after the liberation of the concentration camps—we would understand the lack of trust, the wariness, even the anger—we apparently find it hard to understand the same historically embedded logic of black trepidation and contempt for law enforcement in the USA.

Revealed, these past weeks, for the world to see: America’s racist underbelly.  News stories narrated by dumb white folk, binging unashamedly on their justified racism.  The condescending white news anchor asks a black man to explain his fear of the police… then scoffs at his reply.  Others crudely condemn the dead black men “He was no angel.”  “His parents were known to the police.”  “He was resisting arrest.”  The same ‘news’ shows use the millions of crowd sourced dollars raised for the white murderer as proof, as if any were needed, that Darren Wilson and men like him are: “Innocent until proven guilty.” “The grand jury proved there was no case to answer.” “Let him get on with his life.”

The KKK leave cruel and hateful messages wherever they can all over social media, proudly letting the world know: ‘a good nigger is a dead nigger’.  Black men doubly assassinated, in life and death… white supremacists proudly spew vitriol over the bodies of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.

They demand, “This isn’t about race.”  “Why do you bring race into this?”

White folk have no incentive to let go of their white power, their white privilege, their sense of superiority… their entitlement.  White people remind you with their slippery smiles that slavery was abolished in 1865.  “It’s up to the blacks to help themselves.”  “If we weren’t killing them, they’d be killing each other.”  “They have the same opportunities as everyone else.”


Every Mexican, working illegally in California, is a slave.  White people loathe manual labor.  White people love slaves.  Everybody needs a slave in SoCal.  The fruit growers would have nobody to harvest fruit without Mexican slaves.  Slaves stand outside Home Depot offering themselves for hard labor.   Mexican slaves mow my lawn, scrub my hot tub.  Slaves clear brush in the Santa Monica Mountains under the midday sun.

Serried ranks of plump Mexican women smelling of disinfectant and carbolic soap clean house, serve slim, white wives their afternoon mint tea.  There are thousands of them!  Thousands of enslaved, undocumented maids.

Have you ever seen a white person use a mop, hand wash dishes or polish a crystal glass?  Have you ever watched a white person try removing a stain from a carpet?  Have you noticed how inept white people are?  They don’t know how to look after their own stuff.

“Do you know how to remove a stain from a carpet?  When your dog pees on your rug?”

He shrugs, “Mexican people know how to do that.  I don’t need to know.”

Those Mexican slave women used to be black slave women.

Last week President Obama liberated 5 million slaves by giving them the opportunity to ‘come out of the shadows’.  Watch the white elected officials in Congress and the Senate balk.  Their fat, pink cheeks huffing and puffing indignantly at the partial liberation of more slaves.

Without slaves the USA ceases to function.  The USA is addicted to slavery.  The USA was built on hard work… the hard work of unpaid black slaves.  Conveniently written out of white history.  California’s false economy is carried on the backs of Mexican slaves.

When the black slaves were freed the white folk wanted them to go back to Africa.  “The slaves are free… free to go home.”

Those black folk who thought they were equal to white folk were outlawed, harassed.  If they had entrepreneurial ambitions they were made to think again.  When they opened stores on main street, their stores were looted by white folk whilst the police watched… and did nothing.

There was no opportunity given to black people which could not be taken away.


A black face reminds America’s of its not so distant violent racist past (black neighborhoods were being bombed and burned in Boston and Chicago by white police as recently as 1970).   To liberal white people a black face remains a shameful embarrassment: liberals never did enough for black people.  Liberals turned from the thorny problem of race to an easy fix: marriage equality.

White people who claim to hate racism are privately racist.  Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin at Sony Pictures are revealed to be private racists… when this is discovered from hacked emails they call Jesses Jackson so assuage their guilt.  They publicly call prominent black people to apologize for being private racists… but they merely confirm what we already know: white liberals say one thing then do another when they think they can’t be seen or heard.

For the dogged racists a black face reminds them of an unfinished problem… a problem they tackle every 18 hours when another black man is murdered by the police.  Shortly after the shots are fired, the body transported to the morgue… the excuses begin, the character of the dead black man maligned, the Grand Jury is called and the murder justified… forgotten.

Did it seem this time… after Eric Garner’s Grand Jury refused to indict… fewer people agreed with the decision… or made excuses for the police?  Was it my imagination that after the whole world watched the video of Eric Garner’s murder a million times on TV and the internet that people who might have before… did not want to forget.  In fact they cared a great deal for murdered Eric, his dignified widow and their forgiving daughters.

When the people watch the unnecessary take down and murder of Eric Garner for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the streets on New York they are forced to acknowledge 350 years of racism:  state sanctioned torture, murder, rape, abuse, theft…

The people (all ethnicities) began to drag themselves out of apathy and onto the same streets.  The people saw a black man bullied to death and none of the usual excuses from the police or the mayor or the kkk were very convincing.  The people saw Eric Garner bullied and murdered by the police in a country where the police are meant to protect the people from bullies and murderers!

Fear underpins the systematic oppression of America’s black minority.


This week people understood that the criminal justice system isn’t broken,  that police brutality, secret and corrupt grand juries, the deliberate disenfranchising of black men and the unreported/undocumented incidence of murder by police force… is not evidence of a broken system but the system functioning exactly the way it was designed.

Did you know that once convicted, in many states (11 southern states) a felon is never allowed to vote again… ever.  Why don’t you know that?  Most people don’t.  When a black man is convicted of a felony in 11 southern states he is never allowed to vote again.  He is excluded from the democratic process.  How many black felons did you tell me presently reside in jail and prison?  How many of them are working for free (cotton picking, uniform stitching) in American jails and prisons?

America’s untreated racist wound stinks like Michael Brown’s uncovered, bloated corpse on a humid Ferguson street… and no amount of Fox News deodorant will take away the stench.

Did you know, that until modest changes were made to the selection process, people of color were excluded from the Grand Jury?  Those modest and unenforceable protocol changes were made within the last few years.

They say, the secretive Grand Jury was originally conceived to weed out malicious prosecutions.  That’s just a big fat lie.  The Grand Jury is now as it always was… a secret court used by the police and police friendly prosecutors to help crooked cops out of difficult situations so they can continue waging war against the black minority.

The cop’s unwritten law of the street:  all black faces are fair game.

The Grand Jury is unknown anywhere else in the world. It works so effectively because there’s no one in the room defending the victim. In the case of Darren Wilson he was presented as the victim by the prosecutor rather than Michael Brown and this wholly spurious narrative persists.


Criticize racists and the police at your peril.

The police say they have been ‘thrown under a bus’ by Bill de Blasio, Mayor of NYC because Mayor de Blasio told the world he advised his black son Dante: should he ever have occasion to be stopped by the police, Dante should be very polite, not reach for his cell phone or make any other sudden movement.  Dante should assume, like all black young men stopped by the police, that at any moment the police may kill him.

The following day white, bull necked cops feign indignation.  They know they’ve been rumbled, their credibility smashed to pieces.  They’ll have to do what bullies hate having to do: next time they’ll have to think twice.

Bill de Blasio has been warned by the police union not to attend Police funerals killed in the line of duty.   The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association posted a link on its website telling members not to let de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito “insult their sacrifice” should they be killed. The union posted a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver officers can sign requesting the two politicians not attend their funerals due to their “consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve.”

Good cop?  Bad cop?

Are there any good cops?  There’s no incentive to be a good cop.  The good guys are weeded out.  It’s a tough time to be a good cop.  Crime figures diminishing, the police have to justify their huge organization, their overtime.  They say policing is a dangerous job.  How dangerous?  Policemen are not all killed by criminals,  30% are killed in road traffic accidents… the police are too arrogant to wear seat belts.

Whilst men like Eric are being harassed and murdered on the streets of New York for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes by police thugs, a couple of miles away in another part of the same city the most audacious crimes this century go unpunished.  Wall Street steals a world of wealth and gets away with it.  They say white-collar crime is too sophisticated for most regular cops to grasp.

The cops protect the rich, protect the 1%… as it turns out they’re protecting them from us…  from you and me.

Cops are used to raise revenue for local government, make politically motivated arrests, used by the rich to silence and poleax their enemies.  Cops illegally hold undocumented workers without opportunity to post bail then deport them after lengthy stays in private jails.  I’ve met undocumented workers who were introduced to their mule (a mule illegally smuggles an undocumented worker back into the USA) by the same border patrol guy who originally arrested and deported them.

The cops take their cut, trafficking slaves.


The conspiracy theorists I scoffed at 10 years ago… well, they got it right.

The jails are kept artificially full to justify more cops.  The artificial wars on drugs and terror are in fact… a war on us.

There is a profound connection between criminality abroad and criminality at home. The so-called “war on terror” and military aggression abroad are linked to repression within the United States.  The drive by the American ruling class to build up the infrastructure of a police state is in preparation for the inevitable confrontation with the working class. This is what lies behind the unprecedented levels of domestic spying, the assault on basic democratic rights, the CIA’s trampling on legality and the Constitution, the militarization of law enforcement and the ongoing police rampage against working class youth.

The Hollywood street performer shot in the head by the police, the Down’s syndrome kid choked to death by the police, the homeless woman repeatedly punched in the head by the police, the deaf guy trying to sign tasered by the police, the countless murders committed by the police remain uncounted.

A pattern emerges, you better be a healthy, able-bodied white male to survive the streets of now USA. You better not be black or disabled or deaf or performing or homeless. You better blend in, become invisible, forget any aspirations you might have to be extraordinary.

White Americans may protest that our racial problems are not like South Africa’s. No, but the United States incarcerated a higher proportion of blacks than apartheid South Africa did. In America, the black-white wealth gap today is greater than it was in South Africa in 1970 at the peak of apartheid.

America: it is still a nation of slaves and slave owners. The system that perpetuates this must be deconstructed and if you are white that deconstruction starts with you… asking yourself this question: am I willing to give up my slaves? My white power? My white privilege? My unfair advantages? Am I willing to acknowledge that implicitly and explicitly I colluded with the historical suppression, bullying, false imprisonment and murder of a minority?

My gay friends believe that winning human rights for black people will be as polite as winning human rights for gay people. They think it’s THE SAME.

There must have been a moment in 1945 after the American’s liberated the concentration camps, when the German people were forced by the allied forces to watch news reels of what was found there… there must have been a moment when the German people collectively owned up.   A moment when they realized what they had done. I’m waiting for white people in the USA to own their part, their collusion with a system that murders, brutalized and demeans a minority… then blames them when they complain.

It never really occurred to me until yesterday that the mass murder and incarceration of black men in the USA is deliberate, systemic, entrenched and unlikely to change until white men learn to share their power.


I bought my first house when I was 20 years old. Remember that cottage? 13 Island Wall, Whitstable. 15 years later I sold it and bought Peter Cushing’s house and the house beside it. 2 and 3 Seaway Cottages, Wavecrest. That was a pretty address. I sold them both and moved to California. 2828 Hume Road, Malibu. Now, it’s time to head east. It’s Time.

I sold my house. Goodbye Malibu. I hope the new owners are happy here. It has been quite a ride up (and down) this mountain… literally and figuratively. This is where I buried my dog and this is where I will leave her. This is where the twins lived, this is the location of many spectacular parties, lovers and probably the worst decision I made in my life… to reply to Jake.   But there you go, it’s sold now. The furniture has been packed, the art wrapped and stowed in boxes. I am relieved.

I am only a few months away from having the gagging order lifted so I get to tell my side of the story… how another rich man used the police and the prosecutor to hide the truth.


Recently, at a private club overlooking the lawns and azure swimming pools of Beverly Hills, I met screen writer Graham Moore.  Graham is a short, boyish man with a winning smile.  I thought he was cute, I thought he was gay.  He was finishing his lunch,  I wanted to know more about him.

I was delighted when he told me he had written Alan Turing’s long awaited bio pic The Imitation Game now starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.  He was also chemically castrated by the British government for being gay.  After questioning Moore about his film and the route he had chosen to take… specifically regarding Turing’s gayness, Graham rapidly lost his sweet smile, becoming very tight lipped.

I wanted to know if there was any gay sex/love in the film?   “No”, he replied abruptly, his tone changing… as if this question had been asked too many times, or… this was a question that he had been expecting, but didn’t want to answer.  Realizing there was something amiss, I asked Graham if he was gay.  Graham told me that he is a straight man.

I told him rather grandly that all of my films had gay themes.  Perhaps, sensing my ire, my gay militancy or simply knowing that a gay film maker in Hollywood is perceived as a lesser film maker, to some… no more than a pornographer, Moore boasted that he had gone to great lengths to purge the film of anything gay.  He didn’t want Turing’s gayness to be a ‘distraction’.  He didn’t want gay sex to ‘put off the majority’.  He was adamant that he didn’t want his film to be a gay film.

I warned him that his rather old fashioned attitude could cause a backlash… that Turing was an important part of our LGBT history.  That Alan Turing had been tortured by the state for being gay.  Moore scoffed that I was still in a minority and people were interested in Turing the man and not Turing the gay man.

Apparently Graham Moore did a very good job of avoiding the truth….

Benedict Cumberbatch has defended the lack of gay sex in his upcoming Alan Turing biopic.
The gay World War II codebreaker – often hailed as the grandfather of modern computing – was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 after having sex with a man, and was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and eventually driven to suicide.
However, the upcoming biopic of Turing’s life, which stars Cumberbatch, has attracted criticism for focussing on his brief engagement to fellow codebreaker Joan Clarke, played by Kiera Knightly, instead of his romances with other men.
Cumberbatch told The Wrap: “You don’t see him having sex. It’s not an exploration of someone’s sex life.”
He added that the film attempted to make his sexuality known through dialogue, saying: “The fact [is mentioned] that he’s chemically castrated because he admits to being a homosexual – he talks about entreating a young man to touch his penis. I mean, it’s pretty explicit.
“If you need to see that to understand that he’s gay, then all is lost for any kind of subtle storytelling. It’s not something that needed to be made obvious.
“The conversations are so naked in themselves that the idea of having to see two naked men wasn’t something I ever thought was missing in the script.”
Turing’s biographer Andrew Hodges previously said he was “alarmed by the inaccuracies” in the film, adding: “They have built up the relationship with Joan much more than it actually was. Their relationship is invented.”

There are further problems with the historical accuracy of The Imitation Game, notably the absurd implication that Turing may have been a traitor, read about this in fascinating Guardian article HERE.


In the jail I was enveloped by the trans community.  They showed me the way.  Black trans women.  They were not entitled white girls, passing themselves off on the street like women born women. They were black trans women subject to everything a black women suffers (and more) on the streets of racist USA.  These women are considered worthless, trash, undignified.  I related to these people.  They taught me more than I had learned for decades.

This winter I will be wearing couture suits.  A jacket and skirt. Based on a Charles James classic.  I found a brilliant couturier to make them, one in dark green tweed and another in aubergine silk velvet.  They are interchangeable.  Deliberately,  I get four outfits for the cost of two.  A lady has to look after her pennies.

My hope?  To look like a lesbian geography teacher from an exclusive private girls school. I rather think I’m going to look like the chef from Two Fat Ladies, Clarissa Dickson-Wright.  I have no desire to look feminine.  Butch lesbians are far more attractive to me than pretty girls.  If I ever had a sex change I am sure to be a lesbian.

Without the power of the penis I am a free man.

I have, these past couple of years since I left the jail, submerged myself in trans culture.  My silly film about Jake became an audacious film about a trans woman and the men who chase her.  My desire to reprimand my ex became a beautiful treatise on my own trans curiosity.  One thing is certain.  If I am true to this path I will never leave the big city.  I will never live in Whitstable.

There is something about rotting pears on the pavement, wasps feeding on the smashed fruit that transports me to my hometown of Whitstable.  There is something about the occasional warm day in October when I hanker for my home.

Last week I had a serious meeting about a play.  I have not written a play or thought about the theatre for years.  This is an exciting  possibility once again.  I have no desire to direct.  NONE.  Write… yes.  Direct… no.

I met a young trans person yesterday.

There is a chasm between gay men and trans people.  My friend Our Lady J disputes this but my other less glamorous, non performing blue-collar trans buddies tell horrible stories of gay people and their rudeness and transphobia.  Bluntly, why should a gay man be interested in a trans woman?  Gay men sleep with men… not women.  However, out of their trans costumes some young working class non theatrical trans m to f are berated and insulted when they tell gay men what they are into.

If you are a young trans person where do you go to meet empathetic straight men?  Many young, transitioning straight men misguidedly think they can meet men through gay dating apps like Grindr.  They make their trans position clear.

He said, “I tell them I want to dress as a woman when I meet them, that it’s only going to work if I am dressed as a girl.  They tell me it’s not ok.  They let me wear panties but won’t tolerate anything else.”

I am taking him on a date this week.  He’s excited to wear a dress and paint his nails.  He says, “There are two of me, straight me wants to meet trans me and fall in love.”  That was very beautiful.

I met another white gay man in NYC, an undergrad at NYU, who condescendingly lectured me about trans culture.  He vehemently posited that any man who wears a skirt is transgender, that make up on a man is transgender, that drag is indisputably transgender.  That the word transvestite was like saying nigger or faggot.   He told me he wants to help his trans brothers and sisters at his university.  What help will he be?   I couldn’t be bothered to fight.  We had sex and I threw him out of my room.

Since I embraced this new path I have come to love my body.  No longer interested in what metropolitan gay men think I should look like to enjoy a full life.   I have been watching endless documentaries.   Paris is Burning versus Candy Darling.  The concerns of the former oblivious to the latter.

I am looking forward to wearing my new suit in the big city.  I’m excited.

Today transvestite (self described) artist, honored by Queen Elizabeth and the British Government, Grayson Perry writes brilliantly in the New Statesman about default man.  Read it here.

Bill Wilson VT

I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.

Today is my sober birthday.  My 18th year.

The non-sober people who warmly congratulate me on my sober birthday are unaware that within the benign cult of Alcoholics Anonymous abstinence, is not good enough.  The first question many non alcoholics reasonably ask, “Why, after so many years, do you still go to meetings?”  The truth is, sobriety as defined by William Griffith Wilson has become an absolute way of life: a total immersion, a divine calling, a cross onto which we nail ourselves and each other,  a commitment to a God of our own invention that leads unquestioningly to a daily reprieve from the disease of alcoholism.

Last week, I traveled north to East Dorset, Vermont to the birth place and grave of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I was shown a plank, casually nailed to the wall, behind which Bill Wilson was born.  The gentleman sitting beside me pointed at it, lowering his eyes, telling the story of Bill’s birth with the same reverential gravity christians afford the Nativity.  The following day I sat at my lap top and wondered out loud to fellow gay alcoholics (on a gay sober Facebook page) how things have changed since Bill W and Dr Bob Silkworth framed the beginnings of what would become a world-wide phenomenon.

Much has changed in the rooms of AA since I got sober 18 years ago.   AA has evolved.  When I walked into my first meeting the message was clear.  AA was a ‘bridge to normal living’,  it was the nearest a person like me would get to being ‘born again’.  It was suggested that I look for the similarities and not the difference when people qualified.  It was suggested that I find a sponsor.   A sponsor is a man or woman willing to take an AA new comer through the ubiquitous 12 steps.

Men sponsoring men and women sponsoring women to avoid romantic complications.

Sponsorship used to be a humble service, a helping hand, unraveling the mysteries of AA.  A familiar face to show a newby around the rooms… as well as to go through the 12 steps.  That first year I did whatever I was told to do.  I made tea, cleaned up cigarette butts, I diligently read the Big Book.  I was advised to find a sponsor who had what I wanted… all  I wanted was peace of mind.  I met Vince who took me swiftly through the steps.  I remained willing and teachable.  Vince was the perfect introduction to AA and to him I will always be grateful.  It is because of the solid foundation Vince helped me build in early sobriety that I remain sober today.

Since then, sponsorship has become a monstrous beast riven with ego, co-dependence and self-aggrandizement.  Sponsors congratulate themselves for the number of sponsees they have.  Sponsors throw extravagant anniversary parties, positing their bloated and wholly personal ideas about sobriety, none of which has anything to do with Bill and Bob’s original intentions.  Sponsors have become demi-gods, using and abusing their sponsees at will.

They say: Call me every day, don’t have sex for a year, we’ll do this my way… or the highway.

Originally the newcomer completed the first 8 steps in a day with someone who had already completed all 12 steps.  Step 8 to step 12 would be worked a few weeks later.  Today sponsors can take years to go through the steps, they might not have completed the 12 steps themselves.   Too many sponsors make step work as hard a task as becoming a brain surgeon.

These sponsors use the book of AA against the newcomer, a hopeful… enthusiastic day counter (a day counter is someone who publicly announces how many days sober they are until 90 days have elapsed) may become disillusioned with the huge amount of written work he or she is required to do.  These ghastly sponsors tell the newcomer that they have to be thorough, scrupulously honest, that half measures avail them nothing.

Step 1: the simple act of owning up and surrender is now a protracted treatise on powerlessness and unmanageability.  Step 2: accepting God into my life as a power greater than myself requiring me to bow to anything other than my own will… has become a religious conversion.  Step 3:  the elegant proposal that ones life has been so poorly managed that it is best handed over to a higher power or… God.  Step 4: (a moral inventory) designed originally to swiftly clear away the wreckage of ones past so one might better embrace God and sobriety has become a monster of self-examination, scrutiny and fear.   A monster so fearful most will not get beyond step 4 to step 5.

This is not all.  There are endless stories of Sponsors taking advantage of their sponsees sexually, taking their money, abusing their trust.  In gay AA, because men are sponsoring men, romantic and sexual entanglements are rife.

The problem is:  many gay men I meet in AA or NA are not alcoholics or addicts.  They are lonely, friendless and stuck in a miserable half-life that the gays offer in lieu of community.  They are drinking and taking drugs and hooking up.  The gay dream.  When they realize this is all there is… they turn to AA where they find friends, fellowship and community.  A frat house of sober gays who never had a drinking problem in the first place.

When real alcoholics, desperate drug addicts wander into this clean white environment the gays simply don’t know what to do.  They look askance at the homeless, the beggar and scarcely offer their manicured hands.

The gays have created a ghetto at the edge of AA where they get away with murder.  Literally.  Only last week I heard of another man who killed himself because he couldn’t connect or feel included by gay AA.  If this gay sober cabal were working to keep the majority sober (happy joyous and free) then I would have no argument with gay AA but the facts are: many, many gay men leave AA after 5 years.  This is evident from the ‘countdown’ where we celebrate anniversaries. After seven years there is a chasm, a ten-year gap… between those who stayed and those who left AA.

The enthusiasm (pink cloud) a new comer experiences during the first five years tails off into abject misery as they realize AA isn’t about making friends, fucking cute sober boys and going to sober circuit parties.  It is about being present for ever.  For ever and ever.

As with any small, incestuous group of men and women desperately holding onto cultish beliefs… anyone who challenges what and how they believe is destined to be ostracized. It happens in Gay AA, LA AA, Men’s Stag AA.   Christ,  I sat in a men’s stag AA meeting above a Palisades bank at 7am for nearly a decade.  I witnessed and experienced bullying, homophobia, misogyny, ageism, racism… every day.  Yet, somehow within the rooms of AA, this is perfectly acceptable.  I returned recently to that room above the bank after having written about the ogres who live there.  Those I had written in my blog looked disgusted… then conveniently reimagined AA in their own image.

A sniveling, grey haired, Dickensian lawyer called John told the group how ‘unsafe’ he felt that I was sitting in ‘his’ home group.  Choosing to ignore the AA ‘suggestions’ and ‘traditions’  he personally attacks me.  His greasy hair limp on his pink, mottled forehead, his uneven yellow teeth, his waxy hands trembling with fury.

Another pompous member of that same group, perhaps the vilest of them all, surrounded by the vapid newcomers he sponsors… momentarily forgets his ‘singleness of purpose’ and tangles himself in a crippling scribble of resentment and self pity.   To the amusement and horror of the other alcoholics in the room he lambasts a recent widower who had foolishly delivered a favorable pitch about forgiving and forgetting.  Warning (me obviously) that he holds onto resentments… then magnificently back tracks… realizing how pathetic he sounds to those recent converts to Alcoholics Anonymous he hopes to inspire.

Too many men have left that dank room above the bank and killed themselves.

Online, the gays reacted very badly to my mild critique, my gentle questioning.  They told me I wasn’t sober… that I was ‘dry’, (dry is a pejorative term in AA meaning sober without working the 12 steps of AA) they tell me to go have a drink.  They tell me to leave AA.  More evidence of the sickness that exists not only in gay AA but also within our larger gay community.

I am not leaving AA any time soon.  If I drink (as they suggest)  I will return to AA a hero.  If I don’t drink I will return to AA a hero.  There’s very little they, my detractors, can do.  When they tell me to drink they are really telling me to kill myself… and many will attest that is exactly what the weak-willed have done.  Excluded by the cult of gay AA they have taken their own lives.

Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose — that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Bill Wilson Grave VT


Jim Lande


What used to be a trickle of exceptionalism that marred a tiny portion of the white gay male community has recently become a lethal torrent.   Perceived ‘equality’ has revealed the true nature of many, many gay white men.  No longer humbled by their treatment at the hands of an unfair, homophobic society they have sprung ahead of the pack, claiming that a ‘seat at the table’ is not good enough… instead we must build, decorate and chair the table… governing any meeting it may entertain.  Moreover, we don’t really want to share the table with anyone other than really, really good-looking gay white men who all agree and never get angry.

Being gay is like joining a cult.

At gay AA… the greeters don’t greet you unless you are ‘hot’ or ‘famous’.

Provincetown celebrity (aren’t they all) posted a picture of his smiling mug along side two other grinning, bearded gay men.  All three based in Provincetown, on perpetual vacation, they look for all the world as if they are happy.  As if they are care free… as if trouble seldom blights their gay paradise.  Great pic!  They may very well use the pic and pics like them to lure boys on a well-known gay hook up app.  In gay paradise everything is perfect.  That’s what they insist you believe.  Of course… scratch a little beneath the surface of any gay man and one releases the foul odor of resentment, addiction, crippling narcissism and judgement.

I mentioned to Jim Lande who posted the pic that everyone seems so happy all the time in Provincetown?  He replied, “Only for the deserving.”   Of course, we know what that means.  Jim means there is no room in a perfect gay society for an opposing view, an ugly mug, for poverty, for people of color, for mental illness…  the deserving are hand-picked from the glut of meat delivered weekly to Provincetown, Fire Island and resorts like them.

Jim describes himself as a Boulevardier, a bohemian… he compliments a video I posted of Sebastian Horsley my great friend… I remind him that Sebastian was a bohemian, Jim is just a gay man wearing a velvet jacket… there’s a difference.   He retracts the word bohemian from his description.  He attempts to shame me for going to a boarding school that helps kids who have been abused.   It’s the gay go to punishment:  SHAME.   Did you read that?  This exceptional, best little boy who worked in government all his life spying on the good people of the United States is doing what the rancid gay does best… he is trying to shame me for something I could not help.   I had no say.

Jim Lande is trapped in Provincetown, posting pics of his amazing life, his amazing friends… he posts endless reviews of the film he helped fund, Love is Strange by Ira Sachs.  He describes Ira as a ‘Hollywood Darling.’   Blighted by gay exceptionalism… he reminds me how much money he is going to make, the awards they will win… the plaudits they receive.


Dan spends his summer hop-scotching across the world from gay resort to gay cruise to gay sightseeing.  He travels in a pack of identical men.  The same age, the same color, the same body weight, hair distribution, the same dietary obsessions… the same unresolved traumas.  He is the ‘deserving’.

I met a young man on-line the other day.  We had the briefest moment of intimacy.  He is ‘desperate’ to be in the film industry.  He is ‘discreet’ which is short hand for: I’m careful who I tell I’m gay and what I’m into because it might ruin my career chances.  He’s not scared that straight people will find out, little Austin is scared the gays will judge him, the gays will shame him.  He doesn’t want gay men to know anything.  He is secretive, sneaky and as a result… thoroughly unattractive.   He has built himself a hybrid closet (like a panic room) protecting himself from the gays.

(The actor I dated this summer was secretive, sneaky and lied about everything.  The gays live in a shadowy world of fantasy, make-believe and lies.)


The society photographer boasts that the boy who loves him is ‘disposable’, he boasts that he fisted him… when I ask the boy what happened… he tells me that the hardest thing about the photographer were his fingers.    We seldom talk about erectile dysfunction.  Anything other than a hard cock renders a gay man utterly useless.   You know, the gays hate me writing my blog.   They write snarky notes insisting that I correct tiny details… (“I’m not a director I’m a producer”)  as if any one cared!  


On Facebook I am pretending to be an old Whitstable codger, enjoying a thread on Julie Burchill‘s Facebook page.  Julie hates all Muslims, her page is rife with anti islamic rhetoric.  If you disagree with her POV you are immediately branded a ‘jew hater’.  She says, “I think I may have mentioned a FEW times that I am a Gentile Socialist Zionist? Why would people come here just to get cross? If you don’t like the tiny democratic state of Israel, surrounded by fascist fiefdoms, fuck off to one of the thousands of Jew-hating Facebook pages? Cheers!”

Her fans scream with joy!  Her fans ecstatically revile Islam.  Her fans start out by reminding us firmly that they are not racist (they don’t support the British National Party) then, without irony, they go on to say how much they hate all Muslims and want to kill them.  I suggested meeting one of these crazy women to discuss exacting revenge on the Muslim population of Chatham…. amazingly she private messaged me in the hope of exacting revenge on Muslims!!!

Then it got pretty scary… these people are fucking INSANE.  Julie has no idea what her crazed followers are capable of.   She really needs to take that seriously.   Whipping those guys up the way she does may lead her to some unsightly trouble… exactly the same trouble other radical preachers have, facing the same criminal charges.  You need only one crazy person to do something dumb and cite Julie B as their inspiration…. well, you know the rest.

BTW what exactly is a ‘gentile socialist zionist’?


The only person to spout that kind of anti Muslim shit to me here in the USA was a white gay Producer who told me he believed (as a patriot) that all Muslims should convert or be eradicated from the earth because they didn’t like gays.  I said, my deceased father was a Muslim and several of my 12 brothers and sisters too.  He didn’t care.  He still thought they should be murdered.  Whilst I can sort of understand Julie’s naive zeal as a pre op convert to Judaism I found this Christian hatred and rabid insistence to kill millions of people based on their beliefs… utterly stunning.   Mind you, this guy has always been a person to be suspicious of, he tells everyone who will listen that he will help anyone he can… any way he can… but when the time comes… he is nowhere to be found.


Birthday Cake 2014


They had the complexion of wealth, that white complexion that is heightened by the pallor of porcelain, the sheen of satin, the luster of fine furniture, and is kept in perfect condition by a moderate diet of exquisite foods.  Those who were beginning to age seemed youthful, while those who were young had a certain look of maturity. Their faces wore that placid expression which comes from the daily gratification of the passions; and beneath their polished manners one could sense the special brutality that comes from half-easy triumphs which test one’s strength and flatter one’s vanity.

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

It’s a hot and humid morning in NYC. Tompkins Square Park is dripping.  The dog walkers are melting.

We drove from Provincetown yesterday, leaving the pretty streets, the clapboard houses and verdant gardens to Bear Week. Thousands of large, hairy shouldered men smiling and engaging not scowling or isolating like the circuit boys who infested the town two weeks previously during the 4th July celebration.

The past six weeks in Provincetown were, on the whole, a great deal of fun. I met a huge assortment of extraordinary and not so extraordinary people. I saw people I knew from LA and NYC. I met men and women from DC, Nashville and Florida. Mostly enjoying their week off, some of them… not so much.   Americans get so few vacations.

The A gays who live in Provincetown were kind and considerate.  They have beautiful homes and make them readily available to those they trust.

The extraordinary designer Ken Fulk has restored a perfect gem of a house in The East End where I was privileged to spend the 4th July and then see photographed by famed society doyenne Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor.  Editor Robert Ruffino scampering around arranging flowers wearing his Florentine winkle pickers.

The walls are the color of raspberry mousse, the windows frames and architrave painted chocolate-brown.


My birthday dinner:  an anonymous donor very kindly paid for.

I really didn’t know anyone very well at my party, except Michael Goff and Michael Cunningham.  So when it came to making my speech, after the candle was snuffed, I said: “I don’t know any of you at all… but this delightful group of strangers came together to celebrate the birthday of another stranger… and with such magnanimity it brings tears to my eyes.”

The following day I told someone from the party that I had no intention of making friends with him beyond Provincetown because our friendship could only flourish on the Cape.  He looked a little perplexed but one has to be realistic.  When we return to the city a tsunami of gay gossip will drown the truth and ones expectations will be dashed.

Michael Cunningham

The utterly adorable Michael Cunningham (who I had known previously through Amelia Rizo) made a necklace for my birthday.  We sat in his exquisitely decorated water front home, surrounded by magnificent art, picking out trinkets for a silver chain.  I had a moment of unrestrained excitement as I realized that a Pulitzer Prize winning author, writer of The Hours, was making me a birthday present with his bare hands.  He continued, throughout my stay, to delight and engage.  We discussed Emma Bovary.   We… of a certain age, share the same literary starting blocks… but he won the race.

We talked about Neil Bartlett‘s beautiful book Who Was That Man.  Required reading for any young gay.

There were many occasions these past weeks when I noticed how relaxed I was, at peace, living in my own body, inhabiting the life I have rather than the life I thought I wanted.   There were, of course, other occasions when a face from the past popped into view and caused momentary consternation.  The vile, blond publicist/image consultant, owner of Black Frame Brian Phillips who, wether he likes it or not, is in my social orbit but never bothers to be cordial.  Or the ex boyfriend Chris Shipman who cycled around town with his thin calves and sad eyes.  I ignored the ex and engaged with fey Brian Phillips who sat in his chair as I forcefully reminded him what an evil cunt he can be and how he seems unable to keep and love another man due to his crippling narcissism.

I met Jim Lande, producer of the hit burlesque/freak show Audition and talked about his flawed film: Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs.  Shown at The Provincetown Film Festival this beautifully shot and directed film promises so much but fails to deliver… relying on coincidence and melodrama.  The film lacks any real emotion.  Two old gay married men separated by circumstance and bad choices.  Could have been brilliant but… wasn’t.

I kept away from the drag shows and the theatrical events but I saw Ryan Landry‘s inventive and surreal Pantomime: Snow White and The Seven Bottoms which reminded me of Charles Ludlam.  Go see this if you can.

Jim Lande

I spent a great deal of time chatting with the adorable Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron Tone. The gays, on the whole, are openly hostile to Andrew, they accuse him of being a ‘traitor to the gays’ because he aggressively posits an alternative view. Our politics couldn’t be more different yet we agreed about so much, mainly our loathing of powerful lobby groups like AIPAC, GLAAD and the HRC.  I found him to be gracious and engaging.


Andrew told fascinating stories about his private dinners with President Obama, his short-lived stay in NYC, the history of his three-legged dog. We sat outside The Wired Puppy coffee shop on Commercial Street where I witnessed at first hand the disdain the gays show him and the delight straight people have… in equal measure.

The white gays may never understand his POV because by now they think they rule the world.

Andy Towle

I spent time with Michael Goff and Andy Towle in town to promote their site, we greeted the first of the bears at the dock with 20 drag Goldilocks who boasted that they had eaten all the porridge.  We sat in their charming house and ate whatever they had in their fridge.  We took my friend Caroline Reid to a Bear-B-Q, Caroline is cult performer PamAnn.  We took her to more bear events where she was the only woman.   Her fans adore her.

Andy Towle, Caroline Reid and Michael Goff

And that was that.  There were other amusing people to play with who I haven’t mentioned.  There were less amusing people who I hope I never see again.

Thanks Provincetown and… adieu.



Tracey Emin

Tracy Emin‘s ‘My Bed‘, part of the spurned Charles Saatchi collection, sells at auction to Jay Jopling at the White Cube Gallery for $4 million.

Jay originally sold it to Charles Saatchi for $300,000.  Why did Jay Jopling want it back so badly?  Sentimental?

No.  Buying and selling art at auction determines international prices for all gilt-edged (and emerging) artists.

The art market remains totally unregulated.  An audacious art market ploy,  it is an open secret that gallerists operate a cabal that controls bidding at auction, maintaining an artists credibility and in this case artificially inflating Tracey Emin’s waning prices.

This con is not illegal.

Transforming art of questionable value into work of capital value that can be tendered with the Inland Revenue.  Money laundering in plain sight until the ‘art work’ has an ersatz value all of its own… independent even of its secondary market value, it can then be offered to the State as an asset by its owner, in place of whatever they owe in taxes.  The Lucian Freud estate recently traded 15 million gbp worth of Art in lieu of death duties.

A foot note: Tracy hid in her bed for three days presumably on housing and other benefits. Benefits she received for 30 years. Benefits she, as a Tory, wants to deprive others.

Wanna read about the bed….

A consummate storyteller, Tracey Emin engages the viewer with her candid exploration of universal emotions. Well-known for her confessional art, Tracey Emin reveals intimate details from her life to engage the viewer with her expressions of universal emotions. Her ability to integrate her work and personal life enables Emin to establish an intimacy with the viewer.

Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she is as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.

Meat Doll, John Derian

Provincetown, for those who have never been, is basically one long Victorian street… Commercial Street.   Primarily an LGBT resort most everyone seems welcome here.  At all times of night and day Commercial Street teems with pedestrians, bicycles and many dogs.  Cars edge cautiously amongst the chaos.   During the season (June-September) there are themed entertainment weeks (Saturday to Saturday) for gays, lesbians and trans visitors.

Near the Town Hall at town’s center there are bars, candy stores and tourist favorites like The Lobster Pot serving lobster rolls and oysters.  Provincetown has become an unlikely hen night/bachelorette party destination.  Rowdy, drunk girls dressed in cheap veils patrol the streets screaming raucous songs and hitting men on the head with large dildos… true story.  Drag queens, by the way, love dildos and hate Bachelorettes.

My Two Mums

Commercial Street is divided into East and West Ends.  It’s probably best to work out which end is which within minutes of arriving here.  So, facing from the bay where the ferry disgorged… the west will be to your left, the east to your right.  I start my day, every day at 7am, after my beach walk with the dogs… unleashed, on the patio at:

1. Joe‘s

170 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-6656

Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

West End.

Delicious, fragrant coffee served by an attentive bunch who remember both your name and what you want.  Joe’s is a  staple breakfast haunt for most of the cool ‘townies’ (locals).  It’s common to see straight-backed, imperious Andrew Sullivan arrive with his husband on their ancient dutch bikes or watch John Waters sail elegantly by dressed in Issy Miyake.   Ryan Murphy and his adorable family chowing down on their morning baked goods.

Try the delicious, freshly baked almond croissant… but get there early to avoid disappointment.

A perfect place to eavesdrop!  Who fucks who?  Learn all the local gossip:  “They bring their terrible taste from the suburbs…”  A great way to start the day with everyone who works or lives in Provincetown… and a few tourists.

Meet this man drinking coffee and eating his breakfast:


2. Loveland

West End.

120 Commercial Street  Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657  Phone: 508 413-9500

Run by Josh Patner ex Rome based fashion journalist and stylist, this charming haunt is brimming with local and international art.  Possibly the chicest most eclectic store in town.  Beware!  By August almost everything has been sold.  Look out for beautiful and reasonably priced ceramics by:  Gail S. Browne.

I bought a beautiful vase by Gail Browne and a gorgeous 18th Century throw.

Gail Browne

3. Room 68

East End

377 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 617-942-7425

Room 68 is Eric Portnoy’s 21st century gift shop.  Originally out of Boston’s Jamaica Plain – 68 South Street, originating the store’s name.  Look for Debra Folz  ingenious extending ash table and more of her award-winning work.  For those drowning in bad art glass and cat portraits… Room 68 is a welcome high style lifeboat on the choppy sea of capey mediocrity – quite unlike any other found on Commercial Street… or on Cape Cod.

4. Canteen

Town Center

225 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508  487-3800

Opened in 2013 Canteen continues its stunning success.  This charming restaurant is perfectly situated at the heart of Provincetown, offering a simple, unpretentious menu that capitalizes on local favorites like the ubiquitous Lobster Roll but served in a wholly original way.  Like the interior of this nautical themed dining room the food is fresh, clean and authentic.  The deep-fried smelt with tartar sauce are not everyone’s cup of tea… but I love them.  Order everything with re-fried Brussels sprouts doused in an aromatic balsamic reduction and remember to sit in the newly opened garden overlooking the dunes and the spectacular sunset.

5. Red Inn

West End

15 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-7334

Away from the madding Provincetown crowd, either a 30 minute walk or a ten minute rickshaw ride is the legendary Red Inn.  Consistency, taste and prompt service make this elegant venue an essential but expensive must see.  Last night we ate perfectly prepared filet mignon, served by delightfully charming staff at the bar over looking the spectacular bay.  Older bearded gay men with their well behaved hounds sit on the terrace and drink cocktails.  One eats reasonably priced oysters during happy hour (4pm-5pm) or lounge in the very British country garden: lavender, roses and sweet-william perfume the early evening breeze.

Provincetown Garden

6. Mimere’s Homemade

Town Center

281 Commercial Street #4, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 917 670-7561

Opened by ex-banker Andrew Hood just this year to sell his vast array of delicious home-made, seasonal jams and jellies using old-fashioned techniques.  I bought 6 different flavors including hefeweizen (wheat beer and orange) and red onion preserve.  The chunky peach jam is particularly delicious, slathered on crusty toast from the Pain D’Avignon French Bakery found at Provincetown Farmer’s market held every Saturday by the Town Hall.


7. Provincetown Film Festival

Town Center

Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-7000

This years Provincetown Film Festival, hailed a huge success, attracting viewers from all over the world.  I met women from Europe and a couple from Australia who coincided their holiday with the film festival.   A well-organized and international feeling festival The Provincetown Film Festival grows in reputation every year.  This year I saw Andrew Sullivan rip a new ass hole in the makers of the ghastly Chad Griffin propaganda film: The Case Against 8, at a festival breakfast.   I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $25.

As I left the breakfast feeling exhilarated, I bumped into a huge and handsome man, I said, “Did you see that! Andrew Sullivan is my hero!”

He replied, “Me too, that’s why I married him.”

Andrew Sullivan at Ptown Film Breakfast

8. Fag Bash at The Governor Bradford

Town Center

312 Commercial St  Provincetown, MA 02657

I’ve already written at length about this wonderful, subversive spectacle.  A delightful Wednesday night basement party.  Arrive at 11pm, leave at 1am.  Wear your finest drag.  I expect the ghost of Leigh Bowery to make an appearance at any moment.  Remember, most everything closes at 1am in Ptown.

Tranny Fun at Fag Bash


9. John Derian

East End

396 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-1362

The queen of decoupage Derian runs a tiny showroom a world away from his NYC empire.  It is packed with essential nick nacks at the back of his Greek revival Ptown home.  Black, $500 paper hollyhocks are not immediately alluring or justified… but… with time… anything is possible.  I love the meat dolls by Nathalie Lete and the papier-mache hippo head.  At night, as you pass by, envy his candle lit parties for Martha Stuart… and other gorgeous celebrities.

This boy will serve you.  His name is Kevin and he is DIVINE.


10. Monument Barbershop

West End

145 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA Phone: 508 487-5151

Once a week I drop into see the charming, flirtatious Joey to have my hair and beard trimmed.  It’s essential whenever you are anywhere for longer than a week to locate a great barber and Joey is he.  Very reasonably priced, very funny and he’s… totally gorgeous.  In fact, I’m off there, right now to get my neck shaved.

Quebec Boy



Kevin Campos at Fag Bash

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 my father, the year he met my mother in Margate and Herne Bay.

On the Phone

As the elderly gray-haired gays tittle-tattle at Joe’s Coffee shop on Commercial Street, making snide comments about those they like and those they don’t… like so many teenage girls, bullying, name calling and whispering. The lesbians remain dignified and polite.  They say good morning or make easy conversation. They comment on the weather or ones choice of croissant in such a way that improves the quality of the day.

Not all lesbian are like this of course but my experience here in Provincetown is irrefutable.

We chanced upon a lesbian memorial at Herring Cove a few nights ago, a memorial for a woman who died last October.  There were photographs of her set around the fire on sticks.  I sat with her wife of 30 years and she reminisced.  She told me their story.  I wondered how she would cope on her own.

“Oh, you get used to it.”  She said.

I didn’t believe her.  Dude sat on her lap.  She loved Dude and Dude loved her.  We ate her Red Velvet gluten free cup cake and sprayed ourselves with insect repellent.


Last night I stopped for a slice of pizza with Brent and Derek, my crime fighting buddies.


We’d had a long day, I was up at 5am.  I’d spent an hour or so on the phone with lawyers.  I spent time answering emails.  I filled in forms and scanned them.   I made time to have a pair of sandals made here:

Sandle Workshop

Like most days I walked the dogs in the graveyard with Benoit.  I walked the dogs on the beach.  I walked the dogs to Joe’s coffee shop.  I walked the dogs to the West End and back east again.  Dude is still fat.  The Little Dog is lithe and eager.

Dude in a Grave

I found a beautiful dusky gray/mauve tamarisk at Captain Jack’s Wharf.


Brent and I poked our noses into John Derian’s home/shop.  His little shop of curiosities.  He sells French glass cloche and rattan and decoupage.  Who buys decoupage?  Everyone apparently.

I ordered the slice of Pizza and sat with Derek.  It was delicious.  As I was leaving, I heard a Northern English accent.  Two elderly women from Manchester… eating the largest pizza I have ever seen.  They looked embarrassed.

They said, “This is too big for us, d’you want some?”

I overcame my English reserve and sat with them and ate their pizza.   They were retired PE teachers from Bolton.  They had lived together the past 15 years.  They had a small house and garden and took the bus into central Manchester which, they assured me, was very safe and had loads to do.

I wanted to know what they were doing with their retirement.

They said they went to concerts and the theatre and sat outside ‘weather permitting’ enjoying Manchester’s ‘cafe society’.  They rode their bikes and looked after their cats.  Mostly they travelled, this year they had been to The Galapagos and seen the giant tortoise and snorkel with penguins, they had taken a safari in Africa and showered out doors under the stars.  They had visited a brother in Sydney and driven to Melbourne along the coast, like I had with that beautiful boy… all those years ago.

I found myself talking about getting older.

Old people aren’t the same as when I was growing up.” I wondered.  “Yes,” they said, “Not the same at all.”

“They retired and spent time just waiting to die.” I said.  “Yes.” They nodded in unison.

I told them about my grandmother who was widowed when she was in her 50’s and at that very moment became an old lady.  Cut her hair short, permed it and let it whiten.   She died when she was 96.  I didn’t cry.  My mother did, she sobbed like I sobbed when the big dog was killed.  She was inconsolable, as was I about my dog.

I thought a great deal about my grandmother, chatting with these dear old lesbians.  I wondered how she could have lived so long feeling so miserable, stuck in one town, complaining about this and that… isolated from all her daughters (how can a mother hate her own daughters?) other than my mother.  I remembered just how much she didn’t want to die.  She was terrified.  I wondered if my uncle Norman killed her.  There was little love lost between them and he was with her at the end.  She would have been too weak to fight.

We said our goodbyes and good nights.  I’m sure I’ll bump into them again.  I hope I do.  I wish I was an old lady.

The light is beautiful here today.  The sea is sparkling.  I want for nothing.  Happily looking over the Atlantic, the Cape swinging around me teaming with life.  Lobsters, basking sharks, oysters, cod and herring.  I had fish and chips for lunch yesterday.

Here are my finished sandals:

New Sandals


Penny Arcade

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

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

Provincetown Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little Dog

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

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

The politics of invisibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Go, then! Then go to the moon-you selfish dreamer!

I left Fire Island on Wednesday.  Driving north with my Persian friend Iliad.  The clouds were low, the air muggy and thick.  We took the ferry from Orient Point to New London, there was a British aristocrat on the ferry stitching needle point.  Beautiful raspberry and pistachio coloured yarn.

My intention is to return to Fire Island… maybe…. next month.  The last couple of days there blighted by torrential rain and chilly winds.  Friends came, David visited from NYC for the day and Lorne made an appearance but mainly to fetch his forgotten/lost bag.

May proved to be chillier than I remember.  Memorial Day and the biscotti queens came and went.  John, the owner of the house arrived and made everything broken… work.  I cooked a huge dinner and he and his friends the Scots seemed to love it.  Andrew from Dover Street Market swept in wearing incredibly chic pants.   John baked Halibut en cocotte.

During the week those of us who stayed were thrown together at the Canteen (I think they call it The Cultured Elephant) and it’s true when they say that one makes gay acquaintances in the city and gay friends on Fire Island.  I got to hang with the resort staff who are genuinely the sweetest, most handsome men… see above.   They have a grueling season ahead of them, working the bars, the clubs, the hotel and the restaurants.  Only the most robust will survive.  It’s a tough, unforgiving business serving entitled, demanding gay men.  The day before I headed North one of the newbies left the island in tears, torn apart by gay unreasonableness.

I met Joey the little person who is a particularly inspiring soul.  I was in awe of his ability to be the hugest man in his little body.  He has a captivating story.

Everyone has a Fire Island Pines story.   There are love affairs and breakups, tears on the boardwalk and fights in the elegant cedar homes.  There are couples and  thruples and orgies, there are undignified old men last gasping for their youth.  Wide eyed first timers arrive on the ferry, amazed that such a place as Fire Island Pines exists.  I remember that day, the first day Joe-Baily  brought me to Fire Island 25 years ago.  I will never forget it.

Everyone has a story.  I was told one hundred times by stick thin youths that they were too fat or not pretty enough to meet the man of their dreams.  They told me that boys talk to them in real life like they do on Grindr.  “Hung?” as an opening gambit.  “Party?”  “Looking?”  The single word pick up.  So lazy and charmless.  I did not envy them, these young boys… so far from serenity.   Of course, not all young gay boys are wracked with self-doubt.  I met young gay men who were comfortable and confident and conquering all… whilst the vulnerable fell by the wayside or let old men blow them at the dick dock.

There’s a degree of gay anarchy on the island.  Every one of the local laws are broken every day by almost everyone.

The AA meetings are vile.  The recovering alcoholics looking down their nose at those who drink and take drugs.   I met a dozen gay men who were once sober who now drink… taken out by a beautiful boy and a meth pipe.

One story particularly moved and disturbed me.  A grey eyed, erudite black boy no more than 28 years old who works for a renowned artist.   We met on the beach and he described his Fire Island experience.   He was embarrassed to tell me that he had encountered a great deal of racism during his time at The Pines.  There are few black people on Fire Island and now I know why.

I made it to Ptown.  I had dinner with Benoit the night I arrived, we ate fish and chips.  The ex-gay story he wrote for the New York Times Magazine is now a film produced by Gus Van Sant, starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.  I am very proud of him.  Except… it’s another entirely white cast.   Why? Why? Why?

Yesterday, a local fisherman brought two pounds of freshly caught lobster knuckles that we shucked for dinner.

The dogs loved Fire Island.  They miss it!  Dude and The Little Dog bounding up the boardwalk, chasing rabbits and deer.  They are a little more restricted here even though we live directly on the beach and they are allowed to walk unleashed.   Today we walked a mile or so to the West End and visited the pier shack where Tennessee Williams wrote The Glass Menagerie on a stolen type writer.

The Shack where Tennessee Williams wrote to Glass Menagerie

My favorite and the most obviously poignant Tennessee Williams line from The Glass Menagerie:

I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further-for time is the greatest distance between two places.

Which made me think momentarily about Jake B who I kinda owe my love of both Cape Cod and the Catskills.  Both of whom he introduced me.  If he hadn’t mentioned them with such fondness… I wouldn’t have explored them years later.   There are times when I wonder about those crazy few months with Jake.  They sure seem indelible.   There are brief moments when I wish I could pick up the phone and ask him how he is and what his life is like now.  Then I think better of it and let the memory, the moment… the past… slip back into the black, bombazine black water of what was but could never be.

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Foreign Talent

Wow, this immigration thing is getting serious for you brits? I get that you’re feeling uncomfortable in your own country and many of you don’t seem to fully understand why you’re feeling so uncomfortable.

What do you people want? I can hear what you DON’T want. You don’t want foreign languages spoken on YOUR streets. You don’t want Eastern Europeans taking your jobs. You don’t want to do business with Europe. You don’t want to lose the Scots. Some of you don’t want gays to get married.

It seems like a lot of you are drowning in nostalgia, kidding yourselves that you can reclaim some beautiful ideal England.  The bucolic lie we tell ourselves England once was: White faces, full employment, strict adherence to the class we were brought up in… Is that what you want? I’d genuinely like to know.

Tell me what you want. Tell me what this great british utopia looks like… once you have kicked out all the Romanians, the eastern Europeans, the muslims, the jews, the homosexuals… once you have purged your cities of indian, chinese and mexican restaurants… once your boarders are iron curtains with strictly regulated tourism… in and out of your country.  Is that what you people want?  I really have no idea when I hear UKIP and their supporters… what the end game is?

If British people bothered to learn and speak other languages (like the UKIP leader‘s wife learned English) they might feel happier taking advantage of the free movement of labour within the EU. But let’s face it, the basic brit is a retarded xenophobe who blames anyone but himself for his woes.

Oh, and here’s a picture of a foreigner with big tits to grab your attention.

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Fire Island Dawn

For centuries great artists have been isolated, opportunities withheld for being homosexual, women and people of color.  Amazingly, black, gay and female artists are still side lined, deliberately obscured, forgotten.  One of them might have been Robert DeNiro‘s gay father, Robert DeNiro Sr. who is currently having his gay moment in the sun… albeit posthumously.   His famous son and names sake pledges that he isn’t going to let the establishment forget his father’s name.  DeNiro keeps his father’s studio like The British National Trust keep Vita Sackville-West‘s tower.  In aspic.

DeNiro cries because he regrets not forming a loving relationship with his father.  Why now?  Why is DeNiro telling us now about his gay dad?   Because he can.   DeNiro is rewriting his personal history to include his previously forgotten father.  Yet, it turns out that it wasn’t just DeNiro who erased his father’s memory for so long… predictably, so did the arts establishment.

For hundreds of years the male-dominated arts establishment didn’t want women written into art history, as recently as the 1930’s painter Gwen John, the more talented sister of Augustus.  Side lined.  Ignored.  Considered an acquired taste.  Black directors of theatre and film… considered inadequate.  Gay men passed over for straight directors or their gay films/scripts/stories ignored… often by other gay men in positions of power.

You know, gender/race apartheid still happens in Hollywood.  Fine directors, black, women and gay… side lined, excluded and maligned by otherwise ‘liberal’ or ‘forward thinking’ agents managers and studio heads… in favor of straight white men.  Most of the decision makers, ironically… are gay white men.  Colluding with the status quo.

We all have our Hollywood horror stories, I used to think my Hollywood story was unusual but sadly I share my experience with black directors, women directors and fellow gay and lesbian directors.  I used to think it was just me, Duncan Roy… the ‘difficult one’ but I have met some really nice people, some really talented folk who share this Hollywood experience word for word, blow by blow.

I’ll tell you my story.  It’s a true story.  I have not disguised the names of those I met.  Here it goes.  Get ready.  Ten or so years ago after the initial success of my British Academy nominated film, AKA  I found out that old ideas about who should succeed based on gender, sexual orientation and the color of your skin flourished in Hollywood…

I made a feature film.

Making an independent film is difficult.  Making a gay, independent film is almost impossible.  After shooting the film we had no money to finish it.  Margaret Matheson the award winning Producer came to our aid, she took the film to The Briitsh Film Council who reluctantly agreed to finish the film.

I was told by Paul Trijbits at the UK Film Council that “No one will be interested in your film… only you and gay people.”  He spat the word gay at me.  Paul was a renowned ladies man.  He had slept with Gulshan Jaffery the producer of my previous films.  Paul could get away with that kind of homophobia ten years ago.  Both Margaret Matheson and I were, by that time, used to snide and homophobic remarks from straight men like Paul Trijbits.   We learned to ignore them.

After the film was finished we realized that we had a cult gay hit on our hands.  AKA travelled the world opening and closing gay and lesbian film festivals winning many awards.  We were invited to Outfest, the LA gay and lesbian film festival.  They offered us a prime time screening at The Directors Guild if we could provide them with a 35mm print.  We agreed.  Until that point I had never seen my film on a huge screen.  I had never seen it projected on 35mm.  I had never experienced it in Dolby surround sound.

The weeks leading up to the screening I was camping at the sprawling, un-renovated home in Santa Monica of writer/actor Brandon Boyce and his Italian child bride Roberto.  The film had been winning awards but I did not expect the cynical film industry to respond very well to a gay film told (think Abel Gance Napoleon) on three screens running simultaneously throughout.

Paul Trijbits’ remark lingered like an acrid fart and I wondered the night of our Hollywood screening if Paul’s prophecy would come true.   As it turned out, he was completely wrong and completely right.

As Brandon and I arrived for the screening  he said, “God, the entire velvet mafia are here.” I had no idea what that meant.  I wish I’d asked.  The film played to a hushed crowd and after the final credit the audience erupted.  Applause like I had never known.  In the lobby afterwards I was assaulted by every one who was anyone but I had no idea who anyone was.

That night Jason Weinberg from Untitled took me to dinner at The Chateau Marmont, he said he wanted to be my manager but Stephen Macias from Outfest had already told me that he was my manager and so, not realizing what a terrible mistake I was making, declined Jason’s kind offer.  Macias, as it turned out, was going to be one of the worst people I ever let into my life.  A more conniving, drunk/drug fucked and foolish man you ever did meet.

During dinner at the Chateau people were coming to our table and congratulating me.

That night I took a taxi home to Santa Monica and even though this had been the most triumphant day of my life I had never felt more alone and uncomfortable.  I learned a great lesson that night, for all their foibles Americans believe inherently that they are destined for greatness so when it happens to them… they are prepared.  They graciously accept the award, the money and the plaudits.  I had, that night, in my greatest hour… only the lingering promise of defeat.  Paul and men like him poisoning the moment with their homophobia, their doubt and their jealousy.

During the next few weeks I met everyone who was anyone in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio came to a screening of the movie, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had a screening at their house and I was invited to meet every major agent, every studio, every independent production company.

The previous year I had been in Cannes and met John Lesher who is now a fine producer with exquisite taste but was at that time an influential agent at Endeavor.  So, when it came to choosing an agent I was clear about who I wanted representing me.  Brian Swardstrom, Tilda’s agent, had seen the film and had reintroduced me to John.  I made the decision and told Steve Macias.

Macias told me that it was Hollywood etiquette to take every meeting.  So, I was forced by Macias to go to CAA, William Morris,  UTA and ICM even though I had already made a decision to sign with Endeavor.  The agents I met were utterly appalling.  At every agency I was introduced to the token gay agent and every one of those gay agents told me definitively that if I wanted to make further gay themed films I should kiss my Hollywood career goodbye.

It was like being forced back into the closet.

My favorite line, delivered by lesbian agent Rowena Arguelles at CAA, was said with such gravity I thought it was a joke.  I told her that I had already made a decision to go with John Lesher at Endeavor.  She told me that Endeavor was going bankrupt, she told me that I would just be another director at Endeavor but if I chose CAA to represent me I would be a star.  I laughed out loud.  Not because I was being a dick… but because I thought it was a joke.  Because nobody had ever spoken to me like that… not seriously.

On the way out Rowena looked scathingly at my Smythsons, black leather diary and thinking it was a bible asked me what chapter I was reading… I opened it and said, August.

As it turned out, my representation at Endeavor was short-lived, deliberately upended by then ICM agent Nicole Clemens.  Nicole made a particular nuisance of herself in her attempt to sign me, coming to Brandon’s house in Santa Monica at 7am and calling 24/7 begging for a meeting that my ‘manager’ Stephen Macias insisted I take.  After the third unsolicited call to my home Nicole delivered this apocryphal line.

She said it through the letter box.

“You and I have to work together because we have so much in common.”  I opened the door.  “What,” I asked, “Did we have in common?”

“Well,”  she spluttered, “We both love being fucked in the ass.”

I slammed the door.   That incident really happened.

I told Stephen Macias but he insisted that I meet with her and her boss at ICM even though I was already represented by Lesher.  When I finally met Nicole at her office I told her again that I had signed with Lesher.  She tried to persuade me to change my mind.  She told me that I would end up like Ken Loach if I didn’t change my attitude.  I laughed.  I told her I couldn’t think of a better way to end up.  I told her I was leaving, she picked up the phone and had her assistant call Swardstrom,  she told him I was at ICM taking a meeting with regard to representation.

Brian, understandably, went crazy and that was that.  No more Endeavor.

Finally, I signed with Bobby Thompson who had discovered and nurtured Tim Burton… but it was over for me in Hollywood.  Between the rabid homophobia, my lack of experience, Macias and Clemens I kissed my Hollywood career goodbye.

During the next few months I met all the above again, firstly at Sundance where the film played to enthusiastic audiences and at the British Academy Awards where I was nominated for a best new comer award.  I didn’t win.  I stayed in the UK.  A very long way from Hollywood and the homophobia, conniving and lies of the people I met there.

At Sundance I bumped into Paul Trijbits, he looked sheepishly at me over a dinner that was thrown by my agent for me and Tilda Swinton.   He was wrong that nobody was interested in the film… but he was right that at that time gay product was worthless.  Ten years later all of that has changed.  I, of course, was in the gay film making vanguard.   I often wondered if I stumbled so young gay directors could flourish?

No.  That hasn’t happened.  Gay directors are still sidelined by gay agents and gay studio executives.  Gay projects hijacked by established straight directors… Liberace, Dallas Buyers Club, Brokeback Mountain… to name but three gay themed films made by straight directors and producers.  The work we all put into changing attitudes toward gay film making and gay story telling worked… but not for gay directors.

Homophobic people like Nicole Clemens who may very well have ‘evolved’ since then… put the kibosh on that.

The 35mm print shown that extraordinary night now rests peacefully in the vault at UCLA as part of the Outfest Legacy Project.


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White Man Fighting Aids


The HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s stage play The Normal Heart is being hailed as life changing and inspirational… by some.  Others are doubting its genius.  Some are challenging Larry Kramer’s revisionism, lesbians and people of color are wondering where they were whilst the war against aids was being fought by these heroic white gay men.

There is no mention of lesbians, save one scene, in which a woman enters the offices of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and cries about the loss of her best friend, a gay man named Harvey. She says that she wants to help the GMHC in any way possible, “even though,” she says to Jim Parsons‘ character, Tommy Boatwright, “all my lesbians friends say ‘What have you guys done for us?'”

This is a spectacular inversion of resentment from the original playtext. Instead of gay men scoffing at the idea of lesbians being included in the movement (“I don’t believe in lesbians”), you have a woman who is only indirectly identified as a lesbian describing her lesbian friends’ disdain for gay men. The disdain is made exponentially worse by the fact of it being reactionary (“What have you guys done for us?”), as if lesbians are inherently heartless misandrists.

Both Kramer and Director Ryan Murphy perpetuate ideas about the uselessness of women for gay men.   Of course, my acquaintances who love and count women amongst their best friends will accuse me of gender myopia.

They will tell me that was how it was and not how it is.


At the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Director of hit film GBF gay white Darren Stein maligned lesbians during a Q&A telling the audience that lesbian stories were not worth telling and lesbians are ‘not funny’.


This weekend on Fire Island I had to endure friends of others.  Jacques Correia the Ralph Lauren accessories designer and his very young, red headed spanish boyfriend David who rarely smiled during the three days we shared a space but found time to tell me at very great length about the bi yearly concept publication he wants to start, apparently it will have no online presence at all and will be a ‘classic’ like The World of Interiors… but with fashion… you know, a Chanel frock in a Chanel interior.  Blegh.


Within minutes of their arrival David swept the yard, Jacques filled the fridge with $500 worth of food from the overpriced local store The Pantry.  Food I would ultimately have to pay for.  They scoffed at how little food was in the fridge. He followed meticulous online recipes from which he would not deviate. Worst of all… Jacques was not prepared to share the kitchen with anyone else.


He prepared a nice but forgettable curry with over cooked basmati rice.  The following day he concocted a ‘soup’ which was more like a stew and had far too many ingredients.  I politely told him how wonderful everything was.  I ate it.  I had diarrhea.

Jacques is the kind of person who adores Lee McQueen and Issy Blow and Hamish Bowles.  He hates conversation unless it is about him or his insular Ralph Lauren world.  I can only imagine what his home is like.   Small black pebbles placed artfully on chipped mirrors.

Jacques and David ‘hate’ the internet but can’t keep away from their phones.  They think they have style.  They think they are funny, educated, entertaining and open-minded.

The day after Jacques and David arrive Jacques Indian ‘friend’ Basher pitches up.  Ralph Lauren menswear designer, annoying but charming.  He realizes immediately that three against one is not very fair.

To Jacque’s horror I offer to cook dinner on Sunday night.  I ignore Jacques endless rhubarb crumble suggestions… he wants to put coconut flakes in the crumble.  I refuse.  To punish me for commandeering the kitchen, for this impertinence, they were late for dinner, they were very drunk when they arrived for dinner and were incredibly rude to the other guests.  Jacques whispered jokes to his friend Basher all the way through dinner and refused to join in with any conversation other than his own.  When he finally engaged it was to malign lesbians, particularly masculine lesbians whose bodies and sexuality he found hysterically funny.

His friends boasted that they knew no lesbians because knowing lesbians would be a ‘waste of time’.

The following day, using ingredients that I paid for, Jacques baked delicious looking biscotti.  Tons of them.  They sat on the stove wrapped in tin foil.  I was not offered a biscotti.

Lady Rizo, Rob Roth and Rizo’s friend film director Gill arrived at the house.  The loud, rude women pulled off their clothes, revealing wide white hips and full breasts and long hairless legs.  The gay men in the house looked appalled.  Real women behaving like gay men.

Jacques left with the biscotti within hours of their arrival.   He wasn’t going to let lesbians eat his biscotti.

What a CUNT.


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