Fearsome reflects

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I remember a time where what I felt and who I was attracted to was a secret. I learned early that I had a secret and a secret it would remain.

Therefore today when I run across a video such as this one in which a famous young gay man lives behind his secret I can empathize.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish Elton and others had been out and able to lead thus showing me that I was ok. However, I understand. I understand now that for them the safety of the curtain allowed them to live two lives. One life in front of the curtain out on stage and another in secret behind it. Society actually demanded the separation.

Stars of the past who tried to live their truth found their careers ruined and were ostracized, rejected into oblivion.

Today Elton is able to live as an out gay man. He is married and has two children. After all those years in hiding, today he can live as an example. Unfortunately Billy Haines never made it to see the day where his lifelong relationship would be validated much less that he could live and work as an out gay man.

What Billy Haines chose isn’t lost on me though. He chose to live his truth and to live as an out gay man, but it lost him his career. In his own way he blazed a trail by refusing to live a double life, or in other words he refused to live a lie.

Elton chose to live the lie until eventually his truth started to be too obvious, yet fortunately for him the times had changed to acceptance. But I don’t fault Elton. He had much to contribute, and contribute he did through his work and art. He was fortunate that thankfully times finally changed.

Societal “norms” keep people from fully expressing and living their truths.

Isn’t it time we appreciate differences and continue to challenge societal norms? Isn’t it time we actually question gender stereotypes? Isn’t it possible that the actual organ isn’t the actual sex? Isn’t it possible that sex, or sexuality, doesn’t even fucking matter?

Peppermint & Cazwell’s video Blend has appeared here before. It’s worth a re-post.

If we all do not understand, empathize, love, accept, support, forgive and STAND UP for each other then who will?

Let’s celebrate each other. Let’s celebrate life.

Just because I was born with a penis…

Just because I was born with a penis, doesn’t mean I’m a male.

I have a penis, and I personally identify as a male.

Should another human make the decision for me as to which sex identify? No.

Should a government tell me if I am a woman or a man based on a bodily organ between my legs? Hell Fucking No.

Whether I identify as male or female (or neither) is what I am, from what is deep inside of me. That which is my own identity which is me. No one else decides for me who or what I am that is uniquely me. Period.

I have no right to choose for another human who or what they are. I collectively with others as a society, have no right to force any individual to be something other than that which is them themselves from deep within their souls.

What is between another human’s legs does not make anyone who or what they are. That which is deep within a person’s soul is who they are, character is who they are, honesty is who they are, personality is who they are, kindness, work, creativity, contributions, service, love, originality, beauty is who they are. Sex is not who or what a human is.

Sex or gender, and sexuality for that matter, is only a small part of a human, of a person. Sex is not what or who I am, and nor is it who or what you are.

No person nor any government has the right to decide who or what I am, or who or what you are.

Respect, equality, understanding and acceptance are the qualities that I support and strive for. I only ask the same in return. I expect and support a government that shares these values.

Speak now, before it’s too late.

…and then summer 1970

The summer of 1970 between kindergarten and first grade I had an epiphany that I was yet to understand.

I had two older brothers, but they were much older and already in middle and high school. They loved sports and girls. I didn’t.

Next door there were two girls, one a couple years older in the same elementary school I was attending. Given not many other kids close by, Emily was my best friend. Her sister was older and boy crazy and Emily was starting to follow in her sister’s footsteps. Emily had a little transistor radio and we shared a favorite song. A song that defined our summer.

We spent many an hour playing Mystery Date and singing this song with Karen over the radio. I hadn’t heard this tune in years, but often reference it when I see a man I find attractive. I sing to myself the lines “On the day that you were born the Angels got together and decided to create a dream come true” as I look at the man of attraction of the moment.

Last night I thought of the tune and You Tubed it. As I sang the lyrics with Karen, knowing every single word, I was taken aback at how well she performs this song. No wonder it was a number one hit. It’s pure 1970 easy listening romantic kitsch, but her delivery and voice are beautifully perfect. I don’t think anyone of her era could have so amazingly performed it as she does. She sings it simply, easily, innocently and warmly with perfect timing and phrasing. Wow, I never thought I’d be giving that song such a glowing review …and to boot she’s the percussionist? I never knew that as little transistor radios didn’t have video.

Ok …by now you are getting the drift that this heavy metal listening bearded man that also has a fondness for disco and southern rock has a little warm spot for one particular Carpenter’s tune. Last night I figured it out. At that tender age I didn’t fully understand sexuality, today I do and I can look back.

I say that I always knew I was gay. I could reference the happenings that summer as evidence. Well it’s not just evidence but proof that I was always, and yes born a man attracted to other men. Emily was following in her older sisters footsteps by dreaming of boys. I was dreaming of boys right there with her. I wasn’t following my brothers lead, I didn’t want to. When we sang that song I dreamed of being close with a boy. A boy that had moon dust in his hair of gold and starlight in his eyes of blue. I didn’t know what sex was yet, but I knew what being close was. Close was being intimate, sharing, touching and caring. When we played Mystery Date I dreamed of being close, walking with, laughing with and holding the boy behind the door.

I didn’t know this was sexuality, I was too young. I just wanted to be close to a boy like a girl was close to a boy. I never wanted to be close to a girl like that. In my book girls had it made that boys wanted to be close to them.

I quickly learned that I wasn’t supposed to want a boy that way. I learned after that simple innocent summer with Emily, to hide my real self and present a false self. It’s unfortunate, but it was the time. That was then, this is now. Today I can be me. I no longer have to lie. I haven’t had to lie in years. Thank the universe. It sure is good to remember that innocent summer when I realized I was gay, that I loved the same sex.

“Why do birds suddenly appear? …Every time, you are near? …Just like me, …they long to be, Close to you.”