And for some good news:

Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBTQ employment rights.

Yes, transgender and sexual orientation employment rights are protected under the 1964 civil rights act. (Article compliments of Joe.My.God)

H.A.P.P.Y. Radio – Edwin Star – 1979

Heaven

London gay life in the 1980s.

While I wasn’t in London at the time, I did start going to gay clubs while still in high school in 1981. This isn’t exactly my history but it’s not unlike my history.

Thank You Pete

Fearsome and I wish to personally say Thank You to Pete Buttigieg for turning his life upside down during his history making and ground breaking run for President. Pete, you are a role model. We also wish to thank Chasten for his loving support of his husband’s candidacy. Chasten, you are a role model.

We thank you both for living your truth and working to better not only our country but to better the lives for all of it’s citizens.

We know that this isn’t goodbye, but the turning of a page into a new chapter of your life changing inspirational leadership toward a better future. With you two in our world we know it’s gonna be bright!

Big Boys Don’t Cry

I was but a young pre-pubescent boy in the summer 1975 as I swam the pool at Hollow Creek Swim Club a few blocks from my home. I was usually there with my older brother, he would hang with his buddies as they all flirted with the girls. I would swim the pool, practice dives in the triple diving well and search for dropped treasures lost to the bottom of the pool . Once in a great while I would even work up the courage to try the high dive in the middle.

Hollow Creek was a popular and busy place on those hot southern summer days. I was a loner though. Younger than most of the crowd and felt different. All the boys were older and busy trying to impress the girls. I was busy looking at the boys.

Especially one boy. My brother’s friend Jimmy’s friend Kurt. Kurt was cute and Kurt would actually let me hang with him some as he chatted up the girls. He made me feel welcome and included. I realize today, that since I was younger, I was a prop to get the conversation started with the girls. It didn’t matter then because I loved being around him and close to him. It doesn’t matter today because I fondly remember being included and having my first man crush.

Hollow Creek had a jukebox located at the snack bar and the music was piped out to the pool via a couple of those white bullhorn shaped outdoor speakers popular in the 1970s. That summer’s hottest love song was 10cc ‘s “I’m Not in Love”. To this day I don’t hear it without immediately thinking of that community swimming pool, the taste of an ice cold Dreamsicle  from the snack bar and of Kurt’s handsome teenage smile.

10 cc – I’m Not In Love – 1975

The young boy I was that summer felt different. He knew he would always like boys. He knew he’d never feel the way about girls that he was supposed to feel about girls because he felt that for boys. That boy was a loner and frankly was scared of the unknown and scared he would be found out. He was scared that he would never fit in and would always be lonely. Yet that young boy loved life and hoped that one day he would either change and feel like other people, or maybe, just maybe one day he would find one other boy who was like him.

That young boy today is a full grown man who is happily married to wonderful husband and he just filled out his presidential primary mail in ballot for March 3rd Super Tuesday. On that ballot he voted for another man, who like him, was different as a boy and today is happily married to another wonderful man.

If I could say one thing to that boy it would be to keep being just who you are because one day not only will you find love, you will also learn to appreciate all the differences that make up a beautiful world.
Oh, and you will find others who are just like you.

Old Town Road

It’s a certain holiday that I don’t feel like celebrating today. I’m a gonna clean house, bathe the dogs, catch up on some odds- n -ends and maybe bake a cake.

I’ve got my California state flag a flyin’ on the pole out in front of my house.

So I’ll leave this here and wish you a great day.

Lil Nas X – featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road – 2019

Gay Anthems!

Dance parties often start with an easy intro. You know, a tune that starts a crescendo that will serve as a foundation on which an incredible dance party experience builds.

I’ve posted this tune more than once before. By now Fearsome Beard regulars will realize it is one of my all time favorites. I post it today specifically in honor of all of those before me who dared to love the love they deeply understood, the true love they felt, even though society told them that dare not.

I dedicate this incredibly beautiful anthem those who inspire us today to be who we are and to stand not only for ourselves but those who will follow us. I dedicate it to them because they were never Being Boring, they were just finally being themselves.

Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring – 1990

To those courageous people who finally said “Oh, Hell No!” …Thank you!

Beyond Stonewall

All of us are part of history.

We each have our own story.

Our stories affect others, thus we affect a greater society.

Sometimes the smallest action creates massive change.

What’s your story?

I came out in high school. As a young freshman in 1979 after having been beaten by a group of bullies, this “queer faggot” was suspended from school. The rules were that no matter who or what caused a fight, if you were involved you were suspended. After a trip to the hospital and many facial stitches I faced a choice. Move to a private school or return and face my oppressors.

I chose to return and face my oppressors. After walking back into school with the swelling and bruises still apparent, I walked past them. This time when I was called faggot instead of denying it, ignoring it or hiding from it I took it as my own and replied “So what if I am?”

The bullying changed. I won’t say it stopped completely, but I will say it stopped having power over me.

I found that some started to accept me and over time the bullying practically disappeared. Yeah there was a comment now and then from an insecure asshole, but it was no longer aggressively oppressing. I had the power now because I took my power back by accepting and saying “I am gay, I am a faggot, queer or whatever.” High school turned out pretty good after all. Not perfect, but pretty damn good.

The change I see is this:

I changed my world by accepting who and what I was. I changed other’s worlds by allowing them to see, know and be friends with an out gay man. I also allowed others who were gay to follow me into their own truth.

Gay Anthems!

Is it possible to cry as one dances in the middle of a crowded dance floor? Yes.

John was the newly hired director of the newly established AIDS Foundation in my hometown. He was a handsome eligible bachelor, I was “on break” from my first lover relationship. He had invited me over to his place as we were on our first date and he was cooking for us. After he poured me a drink, he clicked on the stereo as we sat down on his sofa.

“This is the new release from Bronski beat” he said as I deeply inhaled the nostalgic antique smell of the large living room of his apartment on the second floor of a stunning old gingerbread Victorian home. I wasn’t yet familiar with Bronski Beat much less Jimmy Somerville. Jimmy’s voice enveloped us with a trancelike vibration. I was hooked even before the rhythms kicked in a couple minutes later. I remember wiping tears from my cheek as I listened to the lyrics that I understood all too well. John embraced me and I realized I wasn’t alone in my feelings.

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy – 1984

Above is the 12” extended mix that we danced many a night to in the clubs, below is the original 1984 video depicting the chilling story from the lyrics.

I don’t know what became of John. He sure was handsome. It was a confusing and scary time. We didn’t yet know how gay men were contracting AIDS and or who was going to be next. At that time it wasn’t if but when. AIDS in the 1980s was a death sentence and the deaths were miserably horrible experiences to live through. He was busy trying to set up the floundering new foundation to help area victims. I was young, scared and immature so I went back to the safety of my known lover. John continued his work and we drifted apart. However the memory is cherished.

Christopher Street West

While Stonewall is commemorated as the flash point into LGBTQI activism and equality, LGBTQI history is diverse and lengthy.

This short documentary gives a glimpse into the life and movement out here on the west coast prior to, during and after Stonewall.

We have come a long way, yet we have a long way ahead of us as well.