Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why the Belief in Homosexual Choice Matters

It matters to me because I've never been anything other than homosexual. There were no "incidents" in my childhood. There was no pattern of anything. There was only, from very early age, a yearning, a drive, a need ... for the loving companionship of males, hopefully to culminate in a romantic and sexually fulfilling relationship with one.

I remember being asked, in college at an open-forum Psych class where I was one of the "star-performers" that night, when, exactly, I had "decided to be gay."

I was astonished that anyone would even think that there was some element of choice involved. There was never a moments doubt, from age six on.

Now, many decades later, I know why that question was asked. I also know, now, why it's so important for so many people to believe that I chose.

Because if I didn't, then their whole belief system comes crashing down around their ears. It means that God... their God... doesn't make mistakes, and doesn't make garbage, either.

Worse, if I didn't choose... and they did... then it means that there is a lot of suppressed anger in a lot of people, because they chose badly, and they know it.

Personally speaking, I believe that so many people are angry about this because a.) their God doesn't make mistakes and they know it and b.) they chose wrong, and they know it.

It's enough to piss off the Good Humor man. And Fred Phelps. And Maggie Gallagher.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

I called my dad on Sunday to see how he's doing (not well) and to thank him for his national service during World War II. He was grateful on both counts.

My dad never talks about it, but he was a tail gunner aboard an aviation fuel refueling ship in the South Pacific during the war. It was the kind of ship that Kamikaze's loved to dive-bomb. Dad got a lot of practice shooting Kamikaze's out of the sky.

His dad, my grandfather, was in the Navy in the 1920's. Pop-pop was stationed aboard a battlewagon, the USS Delaware. He was a Boilerman. But his real job was to be the coxswain for the Navy's championship rowing team. He led the Navy team to something like 4 victories. The Navy was heartbroken when Pop-pop bailed out at the end of his second enlistment in 1927.

I was born under a water sign, Cancer. I came from generations of Navy men. It was inevitable, I guess, that I would go to sea.

I never stroked a championship team, nor did I blast Jap Zeros out of the puffy-clouded South Pacific sky. But I did serve my country, honorably, from 1968 to 1972. I was an aviation electronics technician. I spent most of my enlistment ashore, in boot camp, electronics schools and, for a two year stretch, attached to the Flight Test Division of the Naval Air Test Center located in Lexington Park, Maryland.

I love working there. The best and the brightest of both officers and enlisted members of the services were sent to the NATC. Our test pilots all had "the right stuff." Our enlisted personnel were either on their way to becoming officers or else they had turned down commissions due to their feelings about the Viet Nam war.

Eventually, though, the time came for sea duty, and I was sent to Lakehurst, New Jersey, were I was assigned to HC-2, The Fleet Angels, a Sea-Air Rescue Helicopter Squadron. After six months of non-descript duty aboard the base I was re-assigned to a detachment leaving for six months of sea duty aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, CVA-42.

Rosie was a WWII relic. Rather like dad. She wasn't as fast as the newer nukes. She was smaller than most of the newer carriers. But she was feisty. And she was comfy. She had a "lived-in" look and feel that you couldn't find aboard newer ships. If you look real close at the arresting gear, my bunk was under the the #3 arresting wire. You have no idea how loud a 40,000 pound jet aircraft slamming into the deck at 150 miles per hour is, when it's just six inches above your face.

Rosie had character. I like ships with character.

I don't expect anyone to ever thank me for my duty. It was a great time in my life. I met some great guys, got drunk a lot, and learned how to play well with others.

And do you know that, to this day, I still fold my socks and underwear exactly the way I was taught to do it in bootcamp?

Catholic school was good training for the Navy. But the Navy had much cuter guys.

UPDATE: California Supreme Court Upholds Proposition 8. Existing same-sex marriages to stand.

Tell me again why I should be grateful to this country for all it does for me?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s about being forced to stay in the closet if you’d like to serve your country.

One dirty little (and undiscussed) secret underlying the policy is our national wish that all queers, lesbos and other disgusting misfits would also stay in the closet… out of sight and out of mind.

But in the military, it’s not merely about pandering to the homophobic panic of redneck teenagers who form the backbone of our fighting forces.

DADT is really about something that never gets discussed, even at the highest levels of power within the forces, because it’s too explosive a subject for even them to handle.

It’s about Sparta.

No, I’m not kidding.

The Spartans deliberately set out to create an army of lovers, the theory being that a soldier would be far more willing to die for his country if he was also to die defending the life of his soul-mate. It was terrific military policy, to create an army that was at the very least bisexual. You can see how well it worked by looking at the battle of Thermopylae – when a measly 300 Spartans (and a thousand or so other Greeks - who never get mentioned) held off the entire Persian Army of Xerxes for quite a long time, comparatively speaking. The Spartans went down… as it were… defending the lifeless body of their King, Leonidas, who, according to all reports, was quite a hunk of Greek manhood.

Can you imagine what it would be like if we had a national security policy enforced by a military composed of millions of happily queer couples?

Can you imagine what it would be like if we had a hunk of burning Greek love as a Commander in Chief?

I can.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Parental Love

I drove down to Dover, Delaware on Saturday to spend some "quality time" with my father and step-mom.

All families are complicated, each in their own unique and often horrifying way. Mine is no exception.

My birth mom and my dad were divorced while I was still gestating in the womb. Throughout my childhood my mother, a bitter young woman with a severe drinking problem, used me as a pawn in her relations with her ex husband, her mother and anyone else who got in her way. I know that, and I forgive her for that. It ruined me in many ways, but there's no going back and undoing it. I am nearly incapable of having trusting intimate relations with sexually desirable people as a direct result of that childhood. When push comes to shove, I can't let anyone in... and more importantly, I can't let myself out.

But still, I try.

Eventually I did meet my shadow family consisting of my dad, my stepmom whom I love dearly and my should-have-been siblings, my sister and our younger brother. Over the years we have gotten closer and more loving.

As my sobriety has ripened, I have learned more and more about the important things in life, such as family and friends.

Dad has started having more and more hospital episodes over the last couple of years. This year my siblings had to fly down to Ft. Myers in Florida to literally rescue the folks and drive them home because dad was physically incapable of doing it.

Mom is no help. She never bothered to get a driver's license and, recently, her memory has started to go. She really needs to be watched at all times now. This will only get worse. In fact, both of them are only going to get worse, and to be honest, it will be in very short order.

After they came home from Florida my sister suggested that each of us go to Dover to spend some quality time with them. I knew what that meant. It meant my sister suspects that the end is near for one or both of them and now would be a good time to show them that they are still loved and that they are still a relevant part of their children's lives. I know, from personal childhood experience, what it means to feel like a fifth wheel in life.

I prayed all week about it. I asked God to take charge of the visit on Saturday and to help me keep my mouth zippered shut, to smile, to be loving and considerate and compassionate, to not have any agendas, and to be of service however I could.

Well, God held up His end of the bargain. I sailed through the day, even though were trying times at the drug store and supermarket. I showered them with affection, verbally and physically, whenever the opportunity arose.

Maybe I am learning about letting people in a little bit. Or even better, maybe I'm learning how to let myself out.

I dunno.

But I do know that I'm going to cry like a baby if... when anything happens to either of them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


From the steamy streets of West Hollyweird comes our photo du jour:

What Would Jesus Drink (on a steamy LA day)? A vente iced latte, of course, before heading off to a hard day of saving souls.

And you can tell it's Hollywood because out there even the Starbuck's have kleig lights in the windows.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

Asshole of the Week - Rudy Giuliani

Remember this:

Joe Jervis over at Joe.My.God does a much better job eviscerating Giuliani over his latest, shameful, conduct than I ever could.

Rudy Giuliani, "America's Mayor", is a totally disgusting, opportunistic, political pig.