Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Okay I have to say it.
I am nervous.

I have my doctor's appointment in a couple hours, and I'm sure that one visit may lead to another, which means more waiting. Considering my family medical history, I'm trying not to freak. But I can't focus on work this morning.
You're supposed to go when you are supposed to go.

Thanks to Uppity Faggot for this story from Kent, WA:
Kent man killed by exploding lava lamp

Last updated: November 30th, 2004 02:35 AM (PST)

A Kent man died Sunday after being hit by part of an exploding lava lamp, police reported Monday.

Phillip Quinn, 24, was killed by a shard of glass that pierced his chest, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Quinn’s parents found him dead in his home in Kent about 8 p.m., police spokesman Paul Petersen said. They went to the residence after their son’s girlfriend called to say she couldn’t reach Quinn by telephone.

Detectives were called to the house to investigate, Petersen said.

They found remnants of a lava lamp in the kitchen. It appeared Quinn had put the lamp on the stove top to heat it up, Petersen said. The fluid inside the lamp exploded, throwing shards of glass throughout the kitchen, he said. Several shards hit Quinn, including the large piece of glass that struck his chest.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death an accident.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Another thing...

...The U.S. Supreme court declined to hear the case challenging Massachusetts' same sex marriage law.
Read more about it here.
a few things...

...I received a call from the doctor's office this morning. My appointment is tomorrow morning at 11 am. I'm a tad nervous, but not too. Not sure if I'm really letting it all go until I know more, or if I'm in some type of denial. But I guess that doesn't really matter, eh? The pain has lessened tremendously. Last night I was able to sleep on my left side, have the mattress touch my nipple and there wasn't major discomfort. Maybe it was just some weirdness that will result in nothing.

I do have some really good news but will hold off on sharing until I hear something from a certain someone. Yes, I can be a tease.

Nope, my image didn't make it into sorry everybody.com. Guess it was too political. Although the site alone is a powerful political statement.

Yesterday morning I happened to catch NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS. It was a piece with Judy Collins. Fascinating. She spoke about how we can't get rid of life pain. It's just there. She went on to say something to the effect that she believes healing happens when we can balance pain and joy. Hold them together in your hands...side by side. Makes perfect sense to me.

My coworker just walked past my office and I asked him to pop in because I had to check out his boots. They are brand new Frye's he picked up this weekend.

I purchased my first pair of serious boots when I was 17 years old. It was summer. I was on vacation with my family, touring the country. We ended up in Wyoming or Colorado where I fell in love with a tall shafted pair of Frye's. They were over $100. This was 1977. They became mine. I loved those boots.

Lunch is over and I'm headed back to work. See ya!
Let go.

To everything there is a season. And I'm not good at accepting that. In training, Sir told me over and over about seasons. He'd say "look at a garden. It needs the winter as much as summer. Let yourself be where you're at."

The shrink has said "this is the current chapter in your book."

I've been saying, "I miss playing. I miss painting. I miss the energetic me."
They all say "relax." And although I say "yes", I've been living "no."

It's time to let go. I need to rest and not beat up on myself for not being in a place other than here.
This is where I'm at. It's time to accept it.

I'll allow my painting ideas to percolate. I'll trust that images are getting filed somewhere in my head. Last night, at Septieme, I sat in the furthest booth in the back. They've decorated for Christmas. The new owner placed garland and a tree in the nonsmoking room. It doesn't go with the feel of the Cafe. With it's beat up dark red walls, and dark red booths...the large bulb colored lights strung in the bar are what the restaurant is crying for...throughout. Last week I thought about those lights, because that's what they've used each year. This year there are changes. In spite of this, I was sitting in the back, and looked. And looked some more. Each table had a little white candle. The strung up silver garland is tangled with little blue lights. The large overhead lights are ochre colored dishes. There was a rectangular patch of reflected light hitting the red wall. It was coming in from outside. And it was almost a screaming magenta. Not really, but I would have pushed the color and painted it that way.

Sitting in the back of the restaurant, I saw my painting - "Christmas at Septieme". It was about shapes, organic and mechanical. It was about colors that clash. It was about atmospheres that don't sit well together. And yet...yet...it all fit. I want to do that painting.

There is a competition this spring. It's a self portraiture competition at the Seattle Academy of Fine Arts for former and current students. I want to enter a piece. It's the one in my head. This painting isn't fully formulated, but the feeling of the piece is there. It excites me.

I have other portraits to finish including the special portrait series I began a couple years ago. There's a half finished still life calling my name, as well as two dungeon paintings. Looking out my window is a world unto itself. I ache to chomp into an architectural landscape.

Instead, I'll relish and savor the ideas and the images. I'll tuck them away and trust that they'll come in time. And I'll focus on healing.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Hey there.

I've been craving a quiet evening alone at Cafe Septieme's, and so I grabbed it tonight. I've never been one of those people who felt they had to be out because it's a Saturday night. Instead, I go with my mood.

How about lots of little snippets? I think I can muster something up.

Thanksgiving was great. A good evening of friends and food at Chez Hoss. He's a wonderful host. The pie to person ratio was 1:2. :-)
I was gifted with a couple great sweaters by Hoss' boy. One of them belonged to his former partner. This was the last article of clothing, other than a pair of Dehner's, belonging to D's former partner, now deceased. I was honored to receive the sweater.

Somehow I have become the giftee of a few items, from different men, belonging to their loves, all now passed away. Beautiful boy gave me his partner's silverware, in an awesome wooden case. Sir has given me a few items as well, including the art supplies his boy used to make the powerful drawings I wrote about here. I carry portions of their history with me. Love, pain, life and death.


Yesterday wonderboy and I went for a long walk, all over town. We popped into a couple art stores just to look. Normally my heart quickens and my craving comes up. That happened again. But with it came a sadness. It's a faraway feeling, because my painting is so distant. I'm the one who has moved away from it. I know this. I can't touch my painting at this time.

The more I'm hitting old stuff, the harder it's been to paint. I have ideas. Loads of ideas and images in my head. And yet, when I stand near my easel, my feet are in concrete. I can't move them forward. I'm being good about not overworking, saving my strength to paint. I'll even make plans to do it. And nothing happens. I just can't get there.

What's odd about this is the fact that I'm hungry to paint. Normally, when I get this way, I'll dive in. The hunger feels all consuming and I'll stop whatever else I'm doing to go paint. Now...I can't. I'm hungry and I'm starving myself.

I spoke with the shrink about it earlier this week.

me: I can't paint. I crave it and can't do it. That's a first.

shrink: So let's talk about that.

me: Didn't you hear me? I just did.

shrink: Do you know why you can't?

me: If I did, I'd let you know, wouldn't I? I don't know why.

I can feel him keeping his patience. This is how I've been with the shrink in the last month. Testy. Short.

shrink: Would you like me to tell you why?

me: Wait a moment. First I have a question. Is this going to be just an opinion, or something relayed to me as fact?
Because I need to know now whether or not I ought to jump all over you if I don't like the answer.

shrink: (looks at me)

me: If it's just your opinion, I'll allow you that...even if I disagree. But if you spout it off as fact and I disagree, I'll come down on you.

shrink: (smiles) it's just a guess.

me: okay. (settling back on the couch). Shoot.

shrink: I think you can't paint because you don't feel worthy enough to paint.


me: wow.

(more silence)

me: (a deep breath) I'll buy that.

The music comes on and our time ends.

me: I know we are done for today but could you answer one more question?

shrink: Yes.

me: if that's true, then why could I spend 3 years immersing myself in painting and drawing? Why could I do it other times, when I hungered for it?

shrink: because you hadn't tapped into the old sores at the time. Now, not only have you touched them, but they are oozing pus.

Intense, eh? I don't feel I'm worthy of painting. One huge passion, and I can't do it.
Later this week I told the shrink that I was allowing that truth to settle in slowly. Yes, I know it's true. I can feel it.

I relayed: Imagine a large white coffee filter over my head. What you said about my not being worthy is sitting in there. All of it. I've noticed that it's slowly dripping in. I can only take it a little at a time.

And it's true. A drop here and a drop there. But each drop touches my heart.

I wanted to cry when I walked into Utrecht's yesterday. It was me and yet...not now. I guess I'll reclaim my painting as I continue to reclaim myself. Makes sense.


Hair. Sexism.

I think of Clarkelane's entries about his hair and it sparks memories.

Some of you know my hair was down to the middle of my back. Thick and dark. And now it's buzzed. It's been buzzed for over a year now. I wrote about how free I felt. Free from the leers of het men who believed that women should look a certain way. Suddenly I was invisible to those men. Hugely liberating.

But you know, sexism is insidious. Just last week I was speaking with another boy. I mentioned that although buzzing my hair wasn't a conscious political choice, shaving it would be. He said "if you shave your head I want to see you in eye makeup and lipstick, just once." I looked at him. "Would you have asked a man the same question?"

I don't believe he would have.

Walking down the street with another boy. We walked past a store with some dresses. He said, "I'd love to see you in that dress."
"I'd love to see you in that dress as well" I responded. I think he got it.

Whether or not I choose to drag myself out is contingent upon my mood. It's not up to what others think I ought to look like. God that pisses me off.

More sexism.
I went to see Kinsey again this afternoon with Auxugen. Yeah, come next Wednesday it'll make three times I see the movie. But I catch something new each time.

When Kinsey published his findings on male sexuality, there was much upheaval. But, when he published his book on women and sex...it was a different kind of uproar. Hugely sexist. All of a sudden the social idea of woman as pure and madonna-like went out the window. Men freaked out.

Well they can fucking deal.

I hate sexism.

Another example of sexism.

About 3-5 years ago, when I was first getting to know many of the men in my life, we had a conversation about ass play. I mentioned how I loved butt play. Getting my ass fucked and fisted is hotter for me than having my cunt filled. The orgasms are stronger. More potent.
I'll never forget sitting around the table with a couple of these guys. Their expressions relayed shock. They sputtered something about how women didn't seem to like ass play. Inside, I roared.

I know they love me and it was an innocent mistake. But again it showed me how subtle sexism is.


Well, I think that's it for now. One of my favorite waiters just brought a new candle to my table and some chocolate mousse. Talk with you later.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I feel weird listing reasons why I'm thankful simply because this is a day people traditionally set aside to do so. I'm aware each day of something that comes up which makes me feel grateful and acknowledge that either within or externally. But I haven't been posting those moments in the way I used to. It's because I've been so involved with my therapy. So...that being that, I might as well take the time now.

I'm thankful for:

The little grey squirrel I saw yesterday while driving. What captivated me about this little guy is that he was happily eating a nut in the middle of the road and I'm the one who had to go around him. It's the first time a squirrel didn't scurry when a car approached. I loved the way he claimed his space and was thoroughly enjoying his food.

My job. As difficult as it gets sometimes, I'm still surprised at what 10 staff members and over 200 volunteers can do. It is an honor to be engaged with these people and assist with touching lives.

My chosen family. In spite of what I wrote the other day, I'm acutely mindful of the people in my life who love and support me even in the midst of the loneliness. It is through their eyes I am seeing a new person. Slowly the image I have of myself, created by my upbringing, is dissipating. And one day, I know I'll be able to feel who I actually am instead of just seeing it through the eyes of these amazing men. Thank you...each of you. I love you. And Hoss...thanks again for your email. It made me cry.

My shrink. I've really been giving him a hard time these last four weeks. Yeah, it means I'm getting closer to something, and through it all, he's remained steadfast.

The apartment kitten who lives outside. Cleo gets fed everyday. She doesn't want to come in. But she runs up for lots of loving as I approach. I'll sit on the stoop and pet and touch. And she walks me out to my car. :-)

All the bloggers I've met, either by reading, emailing or meeting in real time. This medium is a rich source of food and makes the world a smaller place.

My health. Although I woke at 3:30 this morning with a very painful nipple. I couldn't let the blankets lay on my left tit. Still can't touch it without shooting pain. I'm not sure what that's about. It's only the nipple. Yes, I'll call the doctor tomorrow if it continues.

My doctor. She's amazing. Sensitive and brilliant. I love the time she takes with me, whether it's for something physical or senses I need to talk.

Sex. I'm continually delighted, aghast and agog at how big sex is...how it takes on many forms. Its multifacetedness. It's our breath, our senses, our souls. The more we open to ourselves and the world, the more ways we discover we can cum. The more we discover, the more we find sex in the nontraditional. So totally sweet.

I could go on and on. Even in whatever appears to be a negative, I can see the other side. So there are always blessings to be found. Loads and loads of stuff. But now it's time to get ready before heading to dinner with a good table of friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Every vote counts.

For those of you who don't know -

The WA. state governor's race has been a long haul. Last week we finally found out that Dino Rossi won over Christine Gregoire by 261 votes. They just finished the first recount today at noon. With the new numbers, which include the discovery of misplaced ballots (how scary is that???), Rossi now is the winner by only 42 votes. Now comes the hand count.

Although I am so not thrilled about having Rossi for governor, I feel Gregoire deserves losing. A few coworkers attended a Lambda Legal event a while back. Gregoire made an appearance and, to a room filled with queers, stated something to the effect of - yes I believe that gays should have SOME rights. Talk about a sure fire way to toss votes over to the libertarian openly gay candidate in what we knew would be a close race between Gregoire and Rossi.
Last night I went to the movies again. I had received free passes for an early screening of Franco Zeffirelli's Callas Forever. So I grabbed Auxugen and jumped on it. The film opens this Friday at the Harvard Exit. It ran during Seattle's Gay and Lesbian film festival but I missed the opportunity to view it then. Here is the Seattle Weekly's take on the film.

It was lush. It was dramatic. Fanny Ardant does a sumptuous job as Maria Callas. Jeremy Irons is quite tasty as well. In addition to sitting back, enjoying the story and the music, it leaves a powerful message about the integrity of the artist.
I want to see this movie again.

Speaking of seeing movies again, I mentioned to my coworkers that the whole staff needed to see Kinsey. So I played mom and organized one of our impromptu mini field trips. Surprisingly, it wasn't too difficult this time to coordinate with everyones complex schedules. And the timing is perfect. Next Wednesday, December 1st, our staff will see the matinee show of Kinsey. World AIDS Day.
It's perfect.
"And for the existence of those devices, well, we make some sort of deal with the devil. We know they're toxic and hurtful and will last 5 million years in a landfill, but we make the trade-off, claiming the value they add is worth the effort and if we're careful and maybe just a little more conscious maybe we can minimize the damage and the karmic toll..."

Those devices are the topic of Mark Morford's latest column.

And Rob Brezsny's latest Freewill Astrology is here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Why don't we allow ourselves and others to be the total absolute freaks we each are?

I'm not talking about being freaky as in a group of like freaks where there is safety in numbers. I mean each one of us, standing alone, individual, unique and gorgeous. Ultimately, totally freaky, risking that others may not understand you and yet carrying the compassion to allow everyone to be who they are, especially when it doesn't fit within our own paradigm.

Angry? You bet I'm angry.
I've been a boiling pot of anger for over a month now.
Hatred? Yes...loads of it. But I know the hate I feel is only a coverup for the excrutiating loneliness inside. You see, if I hate, then I can't feel the hurt from spending my life being questioned and put down.

I really haven't been able to write about all this until now. And even now, I'm not sure how much I'll write.

What I'm slowly learning is how deep and long the loneliness is. I am getting an idea of how I was born a mouthy, opinionated being who essentially had to question everything, which in turn led to much discomfort in those who are trying to parent and guide you. I mean, how can you keep order in a large family when the oldest is an anarchist? And a stubborn one at that? Defiantly going against the tide because, well, I honestly don't understand most of how life works and why people think it should all be the way it is.

One of my strongest memories while growing up is the loud voice inside me screaming, even as a child, "if god gave us our minds, our intellects, our hearts, why aren't we allowed to use them?" "Why is questioning so wrong?" "Where is the compassion in heaven and hell?"

I remember becoming so frustrated and disheartened. I remember continually doubting myself simply because I couldn't move with the pack. I still struggle with intense self doubt. I remember being punished because over and over I would make the choice to follow my heart instead of a tradition set down in concrete.

And what especially hurts and saddens me is that it doesn't matter where we find ourselves. What group. We could be in a band of sexual outlaws and yet we still hear the "you should..." Sigh.

I am so fucking tired of "You Should".

Now you may wonder why I hate being questioned and in addition hate the silencing of my own questioning.
Two different things. Two different contexts.

I believe that questioning in the general sense is critical to our evolution. What is detrimental is when an individual is being questioned in such a way to continually have to defend themselves. It's a questioning that isn't really about seeking answers yet more about dismantling the individual.

Questions can either open doors or slam them shut.

Peter from Diary of a Slut kindly informed me that my last post was in fact an urban legend. Sigh...I hate it when I do that. And I try not to do it too often.

Thing is, honestly, considering the climate...I gleefully went where my head wanted to. I'm in an "I hate people because they are all assholes" phase and so I'll grab any little tidbit to substantiate my mood. Sorry folks...

Here's the link to the legend.

Thanks Peter.

Monday, November 22, 2004

How ridiculous can people get???

Congressman of 8th district in Indiana is campaigning to change the name of Interstate 69.
Wow. I was just informed that it seems one of my readers from the southeastern part of the country donated $240.00 for the Tony DeBlase Scholarship!!!!

We now only have $1100.00 left to raise.

Thank you so much...!!!
It's been a good weekend.

Short recap - Thursday night the new coffee shop in my area was having their grand opening. To celebrate, the Total Experience Choir was performing. I had never heard of them until the event, but when asking around, people had only fabulous things to say. And they were right.

I love a cappella voices. There is something about the voice as sole instrument that hits me deep. This was no exception. From the first notes, tears came to my eyes. It was gorgeous. There were about 10 people in the choir. This group has an interesting history. They began as a choir group for a high school in Seattle back in '73. Since then, they sing nationally and internationally, including being the first african-american oriented choir to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the Mormon Tabernacle. They've also performed at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, as well as worked with Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and more. You can read more about them on their website.

Friday I took it easy until about 4ish, at which point I went to Septieme's with my laptop. I've discovered that contingent upon where you sit in the Cafe, it's a hot spot. My blog entry Friday night was composed and posted from Septieme's. While there I was also chatting on AIM with Sir. When he realized I was at the restaurant, he came by to join me. I mentioned the chef had made a killer cream of mushroom soup with lots of tarragon which I enjoyed with a nice spanish red wine. I think I spent a good 5 hours there between my couple solo hours and then time with Sir. There was even a waiter change in the middle. :-)

On Saturday, Hoss, his boy and I hit the Frye Art Museum. There are a couple wonderful exhibits being shown through January. Check these out:

Wondertoonel by Mark Ryden, innocent at first glance but actually delightfully twisted and perverse. The second exhibit which I enjoyed even more was Spectacular Requiem, Paintings by Henk Pander. I am returning to the museum because I want to spend more time in front of these. Massively large, juicy, clean colors, with touches of dutch still life...these paintings honor death. Absolutely sensuous.

Much less dramatic, but just as strong were delicate etchings by Paul Gustin. I enjoyed talking a walk through Seattle, Venice and Paris as I admired his prints. Also, I'm glad I saw these little pieces first because otherwise I fear they would have been overwhelmed by Pander's paintings.

Today, I went to see the film Kinsey. Beautiful boy contacted me this morning, and I mentioned I was headed to the matinee. So he and another boy joined me. Go see the movie. GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Not only is it extremely timely, but it hits home on so many levels. Bboy and I were both in tears through parts of it. Sex, our sex...is such a part of the human animal that to categorize it, separate it, surround it and choke it in a blanket of morals is the actual obscenity. In spite of the strong conservative religious influence of my parents, I've managed to throw off those shackles because I know how sex is as much a part of life as breathing. All sex in all its deliciously unique forms. So to see it on screen...to watch someone fight for the right to study sexuality and battle the puritanical beliefs that created our country was tough stuff. Seriously, for me, it hit way too close to home, especially with where I currently am in the visits with the shrink. For those of you who aren't familiar with Dr. Alfred Kinsey, check out this site on his research and institute for more info.

Also, just google for Kinsey film to see the uproar by the conservative segment of our population. The fundamentalists are not amused about the release of this film. Although I didn't click on links, just scrolling through the descriptions made me feel as if we hadn't come much further than Kinsey's time. Then I need to remind myself that we have made some progress.

The film is not only powerful in message but well acted and beautifully shot. GO SEE KINSEY. If you care anything about sex and especially our current culture wars, GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

I was catching up on some blogs tonight. You've got to check out the latest in Uppity Faggot.
Bruce is on a tear and it's a beaut.

Love this.

Friday, November 19, 2004

It's all about sex, babeee...

Mark Morford's column for today questions the reasoning behind the complaints to TV stations about overly sexy programming.

"Who are they who apparently have no problem having their gladiator-style violence interspersed with all manner of Barbie-doll cheerleaders who giggle and jiggle in a sea of Botox and silicon, but who cannot possibly tolerate the exposed shoulder blades of "Housewives" actress Nicollette Sheridan in a tame promo spot lest they clutch their hearts and call their senators in a seething colon-clenched fury?"

On November 9, the health section of the NYTimes had an article by Benedict Carey. He wrote about the importance of continued studies in sex and how difficult it is to get research done. Wonder why I'm so empassioned about the Tony DeBlase Scholarship Project? Speaking of which, we only have about $1300.00 left to raise for the endowment goal. What's that? 130 people each donating the price of 2 lattes. Pretty cheap considering the impact.

In Only The Brave Study Sex, Mr Carey began with:

In a scene from the movie "Kinsey," opening in theaters on Friday, government agents seize a box of study materials being shipped by Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, the pioneering sex researcher, and impound the contents as obscene.

The scene portrays a time in American history, the 1940's and 1950's, when marital relations were rarely discussed and frank reporting about sex was greeted with a collective anxiety verging on horror. In 1948, when Dr. Kinsey published "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," he was called a pervert, a menace and even a Communist.

Much has changed in the years since then. But scientists say one thing has remained constant: Americans' ambivalence about the scientific study of sexuality.

Decades after the sexual revolution, sex researchers in the United States still operate in a kind of scientific underground, fearing suppression or public censure. In a culture awash in sex talk and advice in magazines and movies and on daytime TV, the researchers present their findings in coded language, knowing that at any time they, like Dr. Kinsey, could be held up as a public threat.

Social scientists say that for all its diverse tastes and freedoms, the nation that invented Viagra and "Sex and the City" is still queasy about exploring sexual desire and arousal, even when this knowledge is central to protecting the public's health.

In July 2003, for instance, Congress threatened to shut down several highly regarded sex studies, including one of emotion and arousal, and another of massage parlor workers. And last summer health officials refused to finance a widely anticipated proposal backed by three large universities to support and train students interested in studying sexuality...

Further in the article:

..."I have been in this field for 30 years, and the level of fear and intimidation is higher now than I can ever remember," said Dr. Gilbert Herdt, a researcher at San Francisco State University who runs the National Sexuality Resource Center, a clearinghouse for sexual information. "With the recent election, there's concern that there will be even more intrusion of ideology into science."
He added, "But then, this country has always had a troubled relationship with sex research."...

And other excerpts:

"Much of the suspicion is rooted in religious belief. Many devout believers see any effort to catalog sexual behavior as akin to publishing a field guide to carnal sin, an invitation to deviancy...

...Although religious conservatives have always objected on principle to sex research, several things have changed since Dr. Kinsey's time, said Dr. John Gagnon, ...”Back then, white small-town Protestants' morality was American morality, and it spoke with one voice," he said. "Now they no longer solely define the conversation; there are competing secular voices talking about sexual health, about pleasure, feminism, the gay movement and so on."

...Sexual taste is a wild card, in short, and one that many people would prefer be kept face down..."

The movie Kinsey opened today. I plan on seeing the movie.
Another movie I saw last weekend was Vera Drake. It's currently playing at the Harvard Exit here in town. The portrait of an elderly woman in London, in the 1950's, who was arrested and jailed for performing abortions. Intense film.

Here is an article I saw in 365gay.com a few days ago. This news particularly ripped me up inside.

A school in Texas had a homecoming tradition where boys and girls exchanged roles. This tradition, included an official crossdressing day. They felt it would assist with greater understanding between the sexes. Enlightened, eh? I was impressed. Apparently some woman was highly offended by the tradition and complained to the school district. So TWIRP, which stood for The Woman Is Requested to Pay, is now being changed to Camo Day, where students can wear black boots and army camouflage.

Yeah, I can see the reasoning behind abolishing the potential to teach a little compassion for instead, the creation and elevation of a militaristic enviroment. Perfect fucking sense to me!! Just the idea fully creeps me out.

The icing on the cake is the woman's quote at the end of the article:

Delana Davies, 33, said she complained after reading a school notice about TWIRP Day. Davies, whose nine-year-old son and four-year-old daughter attend Spurger Elementary, said she viewed the day not as a silly Homecoming Week activity but rather something "related to homosexuality."

"It's like experimenting with drugs,'' Davies said.

"You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary...If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?''

Now, if you're still reading, here is the keynote speech (the link is for a pdf of the speech) given by Matt Foreman, executive director of NGLTF, at the Creating Change conference last weekend.

He ended his talk with:

"And finally, our opponents, some allies, and even some in our own community are saying we need to keep quiet, get in line, and straighten up or it will be even worse.

I say the opposite – if you have been loud in the past, go home and be louder now.

If people think you’ve been pushy about equal rights in the past, let them know they ain’t seen nothing yet.

If you’ve been having great sex – have more of it – that really drives them crazy.

And if you haven’t been having great sex – go out and get some – that really drives them crazy.

And above all, stay out, stay in the fight.
Surrender Dorothy? Never!"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Patience grasshopper.

I have not deserted you. I will be posting more than links.
I promise. I love this little place.

Thing is, times have been intense. I don't dare write until I'm clearer about what it is I'm exactly going through. Yes, Body Electric pushed some buttons. And they needed pushing.

Writing has been happening, but it's been private...my eyes only. I've kept it off the web. Because of this place I'm in, posting any thoughts seem to require much effort and energy. So I haven't been very chatty. Right now it's about focusing inward.

Yesterday I was granted a treat. A gift. A friend, a mountain man from NY who I met just one month ago, was in the area and gave me a call Tuesday night. Last night we spent some time together. Damn...it felt so good to see him. In the midst of my spiritual/emotional upheaval, this man was a breath of fresh air. A loving, healing, cleansing breath.

It was good. Very very good.

Another goodie comes on Saturday when Hoss and I are let loose in the Frye Museum.

That too will be good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Let's begin today with Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology.

And Mark Morford writes about the phenomena Sorry Everybody.
In Dear World: Sorry About Bush, Morford says:

"But this is what makes sorryeverybody.com so incredibly effective. It does what no column and no punditry and no news analysis and no Democratic weeping can possibly do, what the Kerry campaign failed to do, what no amount of verbal raging into the Void can manage: it puts a human face on the sadness."

Speaking of which, Sir helped me with a photo last weekend and we submitted it to the site. Thing is, they are apparently so backlogged that it's yet to show up. If my image hasn't gotten lost in the hordes and does make it to a gallery page, I'll post the link for you. I promise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Larry Kramer delivered a keynote speech last week. I've copied the speech below in its entirety.

It's a very long speech. It may be tough to get through. Please make the effort. It is irrelevant to me whether you agree with him or not. All I ask is that you consider it. Thought provoking stuff.


The Tragedy of Today's Gays

Larry Kramer delivered a thought and action provoking speech this week in New York, presented by HIV Forum in conjunction with NYU's Office of LGBT Student Services, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Callen-Lorde, and the Gill Foundation.

With love and respect to RuPaul for sharing it, we are also to help ensure the message gets out. I think this has been the most difficult speech I have ever had to write and to deliver. It is a long speech. I pray you will bear with me until its end. It is an attempt to give you some idea of who and what we are up against.

It is also an attempt to discuss our ability to deal with these. I recently learned about two dear friends, both exceptionally smart and talented and each in his own way a leader of our community. One, in his middle age, has sero-converted. The other, in his middle-age, has become hooked on crystal meth. Both of them are here with us tonight.

I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we're better than other people. I really do. I think we're smarter and more talented and more aware and I do, I do, I totally do. And I think we're more tuned in to what's happening, tuned into the moment, tuned into our emotions, and other people's emotions, and we're better friends. I really do think all these things.

To us it defies rational analysis that this incompetent dishonest man and his party should be re-elected. Or does it?

I hope we all realize that, as of November 2nd, gay rights are officially dead. And that from here on we are going to be led even closer to the guillotine. This past week almost 60 million of our so-called "fellow" Americans voted against us. Indeed 23% of self-identified gay people voted against us, too. That one I can't figure.

The absoluteness of what has happened is terrifying. On the gay marriage initiatives alone: 2.6 million against us in Michigan. 3.2 million in Ohio. 1.1 million in Oklahoma, 2.2 million in Georgia. 1.2 million in Kentucky. George Bush won his Presidency of our country by selling our futures. Almost 60 million people whom we live and work with every day think we are immoral. "Moral values" was top of many lists of why people supported George Bush. Not Iraq. Not the economy. Not terrorism. "Moral values." In case you need a translation that means us. It is hard to stand up to so much hate. Which of course is just the way they want it. Please know that a huge portion of the population of the United States hates us. I don't mean dislike. I mean hate. You may not choose to call it hate, but I do. Not only because they refuse us certain marital rights but because they have also elected a congress that is overflowing with men and women who refuse us just about every other right to exist as well. "Moral values" is really a misnomer; it means just the reverse. It means they think we are immoral. And that we're dangerous and contaminated. How do you like being called immoral by some 60 million people? This is not just anti-gay. This is what Doug Ireland calls "homo hate" on the grandest scale. How do we stand up to 60 million people who have found a voice and a President who declares he has a mandate?

The new Supreme Court, due any moment now, will erase us from the slate of everything possible in no time at all. Gay marriage? Forget it. Gay anything, forget it. Civil rights for gays? Equal protection for gays. Adoption rights? The only thing we are going to get from now on is years of increasing and escalating hate. Surely you must know this. Laws and regulations that now protect us will be repealed and rewritten. Please know all this. With the arrival of this second term of these hateful people we come even closer to our extinction. We should have seen it coming. We are all smart people. How could we not have been prepared?

They have not exactly been making a secret of their hate. This last campaign has seen examples of daily hate on TV and in the media that I do not believe the world has witnessed since Nazi Germany. I have been reading Ambassador Dodd's Diary; he was Roosevelt's ambassador to Germany in the 30's, and people are always popping in and out of his office proclaiming the most awful things out loud about Jews. It has been like that.

All Mary Cheyney is is a lesbian! Even her mother is hateful! That Cheney must be one fucked-up kid to stick around that family. I hope she doesn't want to teach school. One of the reelected Congress persons vows to make it illegal for lesbians to teach school.

I know many people look to me for answers. Perhaps that is why many of you are here. You want answers? We're living in pigshit and its up to each one of us to figure out how to get out of it. You must know that by now. Crystal meth is not an answer. You must know that by now. And quite frankly statistically it is only happening to so few of us that it is hard to get anyone worked up about that problem. Just as it hard to get worked up about a middle-aged man with brains who sero-converts. You want to kill yourself. Go kill yourself. I'm sorry. It takes hard work to behave like an adult. It takes discipline. You want it to be simple. It isn't simple. Yes it is. Grow up. Behave responsibly. Fight for your rights. Take care of yourself and each other. These are the answers. It takes courage to live. Are you living? Not so I can see it. Gay people are all but invisible to me now. I wish you weren't. But you are. And I look real hard.

No one likes to be told to grow up. It's insulting. But these are always the answers. They will always be the answers. The only answers. There will never be any other answers. Grow up. Behave responsibly. Fight for your rights. Take care of yourself and each other. Be proud of yourself. Be proud you are gay. I don't know why so many find all this so complicated. But then I am 69 years old and have less patience for the many problems I had myself when young. It is one of the privileges of getting old.

It is 25 years since 100,000 of us marched on Washington.

The AIDS service organizations are all about to collapse. No money. And the problem is too big to handle anymore. We have not slowed this thing down at all. $100 billion we're spending on Iraq. This is a conscious choice by our "leaders" and by a large portion of the population of this country. They have in their infinite and never-ending cruelty decided this was the most effective thing to do with 100 billion dollars that might also end AIDS, and a few other things like worldwide hunger. But the cabal doesn't care about these. People say: well we can't take care of the rest of the world. That is so stupid. The rest of the world is us. We are so intertwined geopolitically that we cannot separate ourselves off into parts, into sections. Those days are over. If they ever were here. We have everything required to save the world except the will to do it. In a recent New Yorker piece Michael Specter writes that because of AIDS Russia
is on its way to disappearing. Disappearing. Imagine that.

The immense knowledge we have learned about Aids has provided us with precious little more than that knowledge. HIV/AIDS is now the worst disaster in recorded human history. In parts of Africa 7,000 people are infecting each other each and every day. We who are here are idiots if we think this fact is not going to alter our lives mightily. If your company loses enough world markets, which it most certainly will, you are going to lose your job. You will not have health insurance, for a start. And for a finish. Economies are simply going to collapse. This is already happening.

In 1990, that is some nine years into what was happening, 46% of gay men in San Francisco were still fucking without condoms.

60% of the syphilis in America today is in gay men. Excuse me, men who have sex with men.

Palm Springs has the highest number of syphilis cases in California. Palm Springs?

I do not want to hear each week how many more of you are becoming hooked on meth.

HIV infections are up as much as 40%.

You cannot continue to allow yourselves and each other to act and live like this!

One of these days the miraculous drugs we have to keep us alive are going to stop working. Our systems cannot process these extreme chemotherapies indefinitely. That is what we are on. We are on daily chemotherapy. No one wants to call it that. We call it the cocktail. We are on chemotherapy! Chemotherapy either kills the disease or kills us! What are we going to do when they don't work any longer?

Some 70 million people so far are expected to die. "July 3, 1981, Rare cancer seen in 41 homosexuals." When I first started yelling about whatever it was there were 41 cases. There are now over 70 million who have been infected with HIV. Somebody up there is really listening, don't you think? There is no way that all infected people can be saved. No one ever says that out loud. Have you noticed? Somehow in some dream world we are going to get treatment into 70 million people. It is never going to happen. It is too late. We told them. But they didn't do anything. Did you notice? Nobody every does anything. I hope it's finally dawning on you that maybe they didn't and don't want to. So, in case you haven't noticed, we have lost the war against AIDS. I thought I'd tell you that, too. I hope you might have noticed. I can't tell.

The President refuses to buy generic drugs for dying people. He is still saying he is waiting to hear if they are safe. These drugs have been approved. In some cases for several years. Does this sound like a President who wants to save anyone?

I do not understand why some of you believe that because we have drugs that deal with the virus more or less effectively that it is worth the gamble to have unprotected sex. These drugs are not easy to take. There are many side effects. Not life- but certainly comfort-threatening. I must allow at least one day out of every week or two to feel really shitty, to have no sleep, to be constipated, to have diarrhea, to require blood tests and monitoring at hospitals or in doctors' offices, and to have the shakes. The shakes, which come often, are not useful with a mouse or reading a newspaper or with a lover in your arms. And I don't enjoy eating anymore. Keeping on weight is a constant problem. I have dry mouth. I get up six or seven times a night to pee. Many of the meds we are now taking are new meds and were approved quickly and side effects have a sneaky way of showing up after FDA approval, not before. I recently discovered that I was taking an FDA approved dose of Viread that has turned out to be five times the amount I actually need. We are all probably taking too much or too little of every single one of our drugs. Doctors don't want to test for this; tests are not readily available. You have to do a lot of homework yourselves on these drugs. Is a fuck without a condom worth not being able to taste food? Obviously for too many of you it is.

My lover often sits on top of me to make me eat. The first time this happened I was in the hospital just after my liver transplant and I wouldn't eat and Dr. Fung said I had to eat, or else I would die, and I just couldn't eat (do you know how strange this is to someone who was always on a diet?). It was New Year's Eve. We were in beautiful downtown Pittsburgh. David had brought a hamper filled with my favorite dishes. And I could not eat anything. Furiously he crawled into bed with me, boots and all, and started to cry. "We haven't come this far for you to die because you won't eat," he screamed, tears streaming down his face. I will never forget that. I will never forget this man I love so much in bed with me with his snowy boots on starting slowly to spoon into me whatever he'd made and I trying so desperately hard to swallow it, looking at him, this man I love so much, doing this for me, both of us now bawling our eyes out and hugging each other in this strange bed in this strange town, wondering how we got here.

It's so wonderful being a gay person. I said that before. I'm going to say it again. I love being gay. And I love gay people. I think we're better than other people. I really do. I think we're smarter and more talented and more aware and I do, I do, I totally do. And I think we're more tuned in to what's happening, tuned into the moment, tuned into our emotions, and other people's emotions, and we're better friends. I really do think all of these things. And I try not to forget them.

Since the very first day of this plague we have been given, almost as if by some cosmic intentionality, American leaders who most assuredly wish us dead. There can no longer be any way to deny this fact. Each day brings more and more acts of hatred. Tell me it is not so. Tell me that the amount of good that is being attempted is not totally and intentionally overwhelmed by the evil. Point out to me how this is not so. I cannot see it. I have been unable to see it since July 3, 1981. I thought it was because it was a tricky virus. That is what we have been told. It's a very tricky virus. I hoped for a while. But we are being played for chumps and it has been so since July 3, 1981. And we never saw it.

We of course continue to be in our usual state of total denial and disarray. Whatever structure the gay world had, if we ever had one, is gone. Our organizations stink. Almost every single one of them. I cannot think of one single gay organization that despite the best will in the world is now anything but worthless to us. Oh maybe one or two. We have no power. Nobody listens to us. We have no access to power. The cabal disdains us totally. We are completely disposable. It is a horror show. There is not one single person in Washington who will get us or give us anything but shit and more shit. I'm sorry. This is where we are now. Nowhere. And you expect me to cry for you if you get hooked on meth or can't stop the circuit parties or the orgies. OK, I feel sorry for you. Does that change anything? I would say I feel sorry for myself, but I don't. I know I am fighting as hard as I can. I may not be getting anywhere but I am trying. It's exhausting and I have to do it every day, every single day, like taking my meds which if I stop I know my body will cease doing something or other. I have accidentally missed a few days of meds and boy do I know fast that was a mistake.

I fear for us as a people. Is that crazy? I am always being called crazy by somebody. I love being called crazy. That's a sign to me that I'm on the right track. Maybe it takes a crazy person to see into the future and see what's coming. Straight people say "my how much progress gay people are making. Isn't that Will and Grace wonderful." If it's so wonderful why am I scared to death? More and more I am filled with dread. That is my truth that I bring to you today. Larry is scared. Do you see what I see? I don't think so. Most gay people I see appear to me to act as if they're bored to death. Too much time on your hands, my mother would say. Hell, if you have time to get hooked on crystal and do your endless rounds of sex-seeking, you have too much time on your hands. Ah, you say, aren't we to have a little fun? Can't I get stoned and try barebacking one last time. Are you out of your fucking mind?! At this moment in our history, no, you cannot. Anyway, we had your fun and look what it got us into. And it is still getting us into. You kids want to die? Because that's what I sometimes think. Well, then, die.

You cannot continue to allow yourselves and each other to act and live like this!

And by the way, when are you going to realize that for the rest of your lives, probably for the rest of life on earth, you are never going to be able to have sex with another person without a condom! Never! Every time you even so much as consider this I want you to hear my voice screaming like crazy in your ears. Stop! Don't! Never! No way, JOse! Canadian scientists now warn that even partners who are both un-infected should practice safe sex. As I understand it, more and more new viruses and mutant viruses and partial viruses that are not understood are floating around. Are you ready for that one?

Does it ever occur to you how much you have been robbed by both your country and your behavior? America let the men who should have carved out a space for you in the social discourse, the development of your history and being, America let these men who should have been your role models die. So there is this big empty space in which you live. And you don't know where to go or how to fill it in. This is not my original thought but Michael Brown's of the NYU gay student organizations that helped to bring me here, who gave me this to think about. It is sad for a young gay person to feel this way.

I had people to follow and many of you have not. No baton was passed to you. In a way you must start everything over. You must invent a world from which you can move forward from. This is both an extraordinarily exciting challenge and a terrifying one, one that can just as easily leave you by the wayside as make a new man of you. I say man because it is gay men who appear to have the greatest difficulty, it seems to me, in moving forward, getting off their particular dime.

Many of you deny the horrors of what happened to your predecessors. That is something I do not understand. Every moral code I know of requires respect for the dead. I often hear that many of you don't want to know about them or admit to them. You disdain anyone older who was there.

This is denial of a most destructive nature. You cannot move forward without accepting your past. I am going to say that again. We cannot move forward without accepting and understanding our past. We were as varied as you are. We were no different, really. We were very different from those who preceded us. We were the first free gay generation and we were murdered because of our freedom. And yes you were robbed of this freedom that for obvious reasons could not be passed on to you as your heritage. So instead of being understanding of all this, you condemn your predecessors to non-existence and flounder into a future that you seem unable to fashion into anything you can hold on to that gives you emotional sustenance. You refuse to be part of any community. But if you don't have any community you have no political strength. You are too busy denying and disassociating to know that. You do not seem able, it seems to me, to fashion your future. To discover what you want. You don't even ask what you want. You don't even ask what you need. Your needs are as mighty as needs always have been, but you don't ask what they are, which amazes me. How can you not have curiosity about your future as a gay person? Don't you want to go anywhere? Do you want to stay where you are? That is too bad if you do because we are about to enter a place more monstrously worse. You can deny that, as you deny those of us who went before you, but just know that down this path of your numerous denials lies your own continued destruction, the continuing destruction of gay people as gay
people, which this cabal of haters I shall shortly describe, and its supporters, which are legion, are intent on accomplishing with increasingly ruthless vengeance. If you do not fight back you will be murdered in ways just as hideous as the ways in which we got murdered.

Every single president since 1981 has denied our existence and denied the existence of AIDS. And we let them get away with it. Oh a few thousand of us fought for the drugs that we got but many millions of us did nothing and of course an enormous number of them died. They died because they lost their health along their journey of non-involvement and their lack of responsibility to their brothers and sisters. Instead of learning from this lesson, you are repeating it. And you are acting like this with your health intact, many of you, which strikes me as even more perverse than what your dead predecessors did to destroy themselves.

Does it occur to you that we brought this plague of aids upon ourselves? I know I am getting into dangerous waters here but it is time. With the cabal breathing even more murderously down our backs it is time. And you are still doing it. You are still murdering each other. Please stop with all the generalizations and avoidance excuses gays have used since the beginning to ditch this responsibility for this fact. From the very first moment we were told in 1981 that the suspected cause was a virus, gay men have refused to accept our responsibility for choosing not to listen, and, starting in 1984, when we were told it definitely was a virus, this behavior turned murderous. Make whatever excuses you can to carry on living in your state of denial but this is the fact of the matter. I wish we could understand and take some responsibility for the fact that for some 30 years we have been murdering each other with great facility and that down deep inside of us, we knew what we were doing. Don't tell me you have never had sex without thinking down deep that there was more involved in what you were doing than just maintaining a hard-on.

I have recently gone through my diaries of the worst of the plague years. I saw day after day a notation of another friend's death. I listed all the ones I'd slept with. There were a couple hundred. Was it my sperm that killed them, that did the trick? It is no longer possible for me to avoid this question of myself. Have you ever wondered how many men you killed? I know I murdered some of them. I just know. You know how you sometimes know things? I know. Several hundred over a bunch of years, I have to have murdered some of them, planting in him the original seed. I have put this to several doctors. Mostly they refuse to discuss it, even if they are gay. Most doctors do not like to discuss sex or what we do or did. (I still have not heard a consensus on the true dangers of oral sex, for instance.) They play blind. God knows what they must be thinking when they examine us. Particularly if they aren't gay. One doctor answered me, it takes two to tango so you cannot take the responsibility alone. But in some cases it isn't so easy to answer so flippantly. The sweet young boy who didn't know anything and was in awe of me. I was the first man who fucked him. I think I murdered him. The old boyfriend who did not want to go to bed with me and I made him. The man I let fuck me because I was trying to make my then boyfriend, now lover, jealous. I know, by the way, that that other one is the one who infected me. You know how you sometime know things? I know he infected me. I tried to murder myself on that one.

Has it never, ever occurred to you that not using a condom is tantamount to murder? I cannot believe you have never considered this. It is such a simple and intelligent thought to have. And we all should have had it from day one. Why didn't we? That has been haunting me for a while, that question. Why didn't we? It is incredibly selfish not to have at least thought that question at that moment, all those moments when we were playing Russian roulette.

From here on I am going to get even more complicated. I want you to pay attention. This is the most important part of this speech.

Bill Moyers recently said this in a speech on October 20, 2004 at the Palace Hotel:

"For years now, the corporate, political, and religious right -- this is documented from 1971 on -- the religious and political right has been joined in an axis of influence whose purpose is to take back the gains of the democratic renewal in the 20th century and restore America to a rule of the elites that maintain their privilege and their power at the expense of everyone else. For years now, a small fraction of American households have been garnering an extreme concentration of wealth and income while large corporations and financial institutions have obtained unprecedented levels of economic and political power over daily life."

"Take note," Moyers continues. "The corporate, political, and religious conservatives are achieving a vast transformation of America that only they understand because they are its advocates, its architects, and its beneficiaries. In creating the greatest inequality in America since 1929, they have saddled our nation, our States, and our cities and counties with structural defects that will last until our children's children are ready for retirement, and they are systematically stripping government of all its functions, except rewarding the rich and waging war."

In other words, our country has been taken away from us by a cabal that includes all the people who hate us.

These people make the rules. They are rarely elected officials. They may or may not know each other. They have several things in common. They are very rich or have strong connections to money or power. They are in agreement on what they do not want. They believe fervently in their God. And that they are doing all this for Him. And they stay in constant touch.

I hope you realize that all these people Bill Moyers is talking about hate us. Thriller writers write better histories of our times than actual historians.

Anyway, it is done. What Moyers is talking about. It's already happened. On a scale of such magnitude that it is difficult to see how we can ever take it back. It's all in place now, this cabal of power. It almost doesn't make any difference who is president.

You want to know why AIDS was allowed to happen. This is your answer. You want to know why gay people have no power and are unlikely to get any. This is your answer.

The top 1% of wealth holders control 39% of total household wealth.

The richest 5% of households own 2/3 of the value of all stock owned in the our country.

The the top 1% have as many after-tax dollars to spend as the bottom 100 million.

The richest 20% of households received almost 50% of the national income, while the bottom 20% received only 3%.

At a time when 265 people in the United States were billionaires, 32 million people were living beneath the official poverty line.

This inequality gap in the United States is the highest in the industrialized world.

"That drive," Moyers continues, "is succeeding with drastic consequences for an equitable access to public resources, the lifeblood of any democracy. From land, water, and natural resources, to media and the broadcast and digital spectrums, to scientific discovery and medical breakthroughs, and even to politics itself, a broad range of American democracy is undergoing a powerful shift in the direction of private control.

"We are experiencing a fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that have shaped public responsibility for social harms arising from the excesses of private power."

In 1971, Lewis Powell, a Richmond lawyer who called himself a centrist, was secretly commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Congress to write a confidential plan on how to take back America for the survival of the free enterprise system. Not democracy. Free enterprise. Barry Goldwater had lost, Nixon was about to implode, Vietnam had sucked the nation's soul dry, the cabal saw their world unraveling. They saw the women's movement, black civil rights. student war protests, the cold war. They saw the world as they knew it coming to an end. (We are not the first to feel our world crumbling and becoming powerless.)

This is what Lewis Powell wrote: "Survival lies in organization, in careful long range planning, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing only available through joint effort and in the political power available only through united action."

This was the birth of what is now called the vast right wing conspiracy. It is known as the Powell Manifesto. You can google Lewis Powell (not the one who helped to assassinate Lincoln) and read it in its entirety.

Under the supervision of some of the richest families in America, that plan has been followed faithfully since 1971 and it has resulted in these past years of horror and the re-election of George Bush. Nine families and their foundations, all under the insistent goading of Joseph Coors, have financed much of this. The Bradley Foundation. The Smith Richardson Foundation. Four Scaife Family Foundations, The John M. Olin Foundation. The Castle Rock (or Coors) Foundation. Three Koch Family Foundations. The Earhart Foundation. The JM Foundation. The McKenna Foundation. From 1985 to 2001 alone they contributed $650 million to this conservative message campaign. They have helped to launch and gain financing for networks of newspapers and magazines. They have seen to it that hundreds of the most powerful think tanks have appeared, including the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise, Cato, Manhattan, Hudson Institutes, and many more. There are now in place an ever growing number of well-funded student organizations at many colleges. There are legal advocacy foundations, such as the Center For Individual Rights and Judicial Watch. There are Leadership Institutes and Action Institutes and Institutes on Religion and Public Policy and Religion and Democracy. There is a heavily visible media participation: Fox Television and Pat Robertson and Oliver North and Radio America and the Washington Times and Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, to name but a very few, including the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.

For the preparation of this manifesto, Lewis Powell was rewarded by Richard Nixon with a seat on the Supreme Court, where among other things he voted against gays in Bowers v. Hardwick, and against Black people in Bakke v. University of California.

It is vital for us to realize that this plan was written in 1971. The people it was written for did not go off then to a disco, or to the Pines or into therapy, or into drugs. They took this plan and they have executed it religiously every day and night for the next thirty-five years initially with some 400 million dollars and always from then until now with unending hours of backbreaking, grinding, unglamorous work, of civic engagements county by county across the entire expanse of America. They took the richest and most liberal nation in the history of civilization and turned it hard right into a classist, racist, homophobic imperial army of pirates. 30% of America now self-identify as conservative or extremely
conservative. When Lewis Powell wrote his Manifesto that figure was less than 10%.

And on the morning of November 3rd we wrung our hands and wondered why. And we have a community that still cannot decide on what we want or what to do. We are completely inept at organizing ourselves and have a monstrously bad record of attempting unity.

The continuing existence of HIV is essential for the functioning of the totalitarianism under which gay people now live. It works out like this: HIV allows "them" to sell us as sick. And that kills off our usefulness, both in our own minds, their thinking we are sick, and in the eyes of the world, everyone thinking we are sick. All of this obliterates the consciousness of those who should help us and don't. This liquidates and incinerates our individuality and our spontaneity, our abilities to fight back, to hold our oppressors to task. They want to keep HIV going as long as they can! Why haven't we seen that? The signs have always been there! But like everything else we couldn't believe them. No one could be as cruel as that. They want to make us superfluous. Their media, their newspapers, their networks will see to it that our good qualities are invisible.

It should therefore come as no surprise that when HIV came along they, this cabal, facilitated its rapid deployment and continue to do so. Before even making the feeblest attempt to commence any miniscule response or inquiry into what their press was not reporting, which they most certainly knew about themselves, they waited until masses of us had all been exposed to the whatever it was. We on the other hand chose to not believe that the whatver it was was a virus until this was incontestably proved. But they knew what it was, or were willing to take the chance and hope that it was, and they just sat back and waited. Their wildest dreams then started to come true. The faggots were disappearing and they were doing it to themselves! I can locate no work of any urgency, or indeed much work at all on aids for most of the period between 1981-1984. Oh many claim it, as many claim seeing cases many years earlier, which I also doubt, but I cannot locate whatever these are claiming. In those four years almost every gay man who had fucked in America had been exposed to the virus.

And when they did start doing anything it was with such feebleness that it amounted to nothing for ten years. You can give me all kinds of reasons why it took so long but my research has convinced me that the actual scenario was completely intentional neglect. Oh perhaps not the doctors or the scientists. But they had no money. And they were not going to get any money. Or enough money. People upstairs were going to see to it that there would be no money. Let even more people get infected first. Blacks, junkies, prostitutes. Every color of skin but straight white. Every religion but Christian. Excuse me, white Christian. Then we'll throw them a few pennies to make it look like we're concerned.

The cabals Bill Moyers talked about have called all the shots in facilitating and accelerating the plague of aids. If scientists discovered something useful, it has rarely been available. I spoke earlier about the refusal of this president to allow already approved generic drugs out to a desperate Africa and elsewhere. Of that huge Congressional approval of many billions for HIV around the world that Bush brags about, something less that 2% has left Washington almost four years after its approval. Does this sound like a President and a government and a country that wants to help?

I guess I have suspected behavior like this all along. But I never knew it in quite the way that I have now come to see it thanks to Bill Moyers: intentionality is the only word to describe the genocidal treatment the world is drowning in. Much of the world, most assuredly including us, has been intentionally hung out to die. So far some 70 million of us. That is some manifesto Lewis Powell birthed. And all we have to do is keep fucking each other without condoms and the rest of their "moral issues" will be dead.

Do you seriously think they care about the continuing rise again of HIV infections? They are grateful for them. Do you think they care about a sudden plague of crystal? They thank us for our cooperation. And we thought for one brief second of time that we might even be allowed to marry the ones we love.

And while all this happened, even if we had enough suspicions to act, what did we do? We completely shrank from our duty of opposition. Those are Christopher Isherwood's words: "the duty of opposition." But he was flagellating himself with these words. He fears that should he have to live face to face with a war in his backyard that he "would shrink from the duty of opposition."

Marriage? Forget it. Non-discrimination laws? Forget them. Those that have been enacted will be rescinded or amended into toothlessness. Adoption? Equal rights? Forget everything. We are going to be erased into nothingness. They hate us so much and now they are in complete and utter power, the most dangerous situation in the world for the unwanteds to live under. And I no longer think it matters who is President. Clinton turned out to be as rotten for us as George Bush, either one.

Ok, keep putting your life in jeopardy. 110 of their drug companies certainly want you to do so. Keep dancing your asses off at circuit parties all over the world as you go down to the sea in ships that are made to intentionally capsize and take you down with them. Ok, keep being bored and crying for your poor selves. You ain't seen nothin' yet. With our complete cooperation they have already murdered several generations of us so far. They won't have to murder so many more of us to get their wish. Like Russia, we will disappear. That is what they want to do. Disappear us. And now they are able to officially do it. George Bush has his mandate. Can't you see all this! People high up there in their secret powwows don't want us here. Word has come down from on high: get rid of the faggots once and for all. You think the law will protect us? Think again. Wait until you see the new Supreme Court.

You are here as a gay person because of certain events and certain people who lived and suffered and died before you. You must learn about them and not continually deny their existence and importance in our history, the history of gay people in America. You must learn about them! They have made your life possible! What kind of person doesn't want to learn about themselves? I don't know why but you don't want to. Most of our fellow gays don't read books about us. Or come to plays about us. What do you want to do? I don't know. And for all I can tell in talking to many of you, you don't know either. And this is very frightening. A large uncongealed mass of potentially superior beings doesn't know what to do with themselves or bother to learn their history. So they dance. So they drug. So they go on to the internet to find more sex. These are useful lives being wasted. Why is that? Why is there no useful creativity going on? Why is there no mental agility visible, no audible questioning discussions ... almost anything of importance? Don't you long for some involvement in the humanity that you belong to, for your place in the scheme of things? You don't know how to make entrance on these playing fields, is that it? I don't know what is wrong with us. I wish you could tell me. What do you do with yourselves all week long, seven days and nights a week, that amounts to anything really important? I can't see many of you as doing anything important, to give your lives meaning. Oh I can see lots of frocks on the runway but I can't see bodies inside of them, bodies with brains and concerned with anything but pretty and orgasms. What do you do to make your world, our world, a better place? A world that needs every bit of help it can get, our world, not their world. You don't seem able to connect with anyone beyond the basest ways.

"Why can't we look at our bodies and see not just a sexual definition? Why can't we see in the body all that the body represents? Sexuality, yes. But also mortality, humanness, humaneness, innocence, purity, health, sickness, strength, consideration, responsibility, divinity. When did we rob our bodies of all the complexity they possess? Why do we refuse to see all that we are capable of? All the other things that make us full beings." That very beautiful paragraph was written by my friend, Jordan Roth, who is one day going to be a very fine writer if he just keeps at it.

Do you know you are taking the same crystal meth as Hitler? The stuff that was being used well into 1997, the government outlawed one of the ingredients and so the orignal process was resurrected, the one as used by the Nazis. It was first synthesized by the Germans in the early part of the 20th century. Hitler was a crystal addict. The new version is much more potent than the stuff you were taking before 1997, which is the main reason why it is so hard to break an addiction. Dr. Howard Grossman told me this bit of history. Maybe I shouldn't have told you about the Hitler part. To the more twisted among you it may be a turn-on.

I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we're better than other people. I really do. I think we're smarter and more talented and more aware and I do, I do, I totally do. I really do think all of these things. And I try very hard to remember all this.

But I am finding that I am not so proud of being gay anymore. It's come over me slowly. As much as I love being gay and I love gay people I'm not proud of us right now. It's disappeared. I almost could say we've disappeared. But since you are here I can't quite say that. But that's how I feel.

I do not see us, don't you see? I do not see us! They are killing us. They are eradicating us from this earth. Little by little by little we are disappearing. I do not see us and I am beginning to see us less and less.

I have recently come to believe that gay men and women are tragic people. We are so wonderful but we are also so fucked up. So blind. So ignorant in ways to look after ourselves. So uninterested in the Outside World that is subsuming us when we thought we were making them pretty and giving them songs to sing. So without agendas to utilize our wonderful-ness. We know who the enemy is and we just stand here letting them shoot us over and over again. We stand there and let them do it! All of the brains and abilities we have among us are useless. The smartest among us, our famous ones, our rich ones, seem to allow this most of all. The ones who should help us and speak up for us refuse that responsibility. We have enough rich gay men and lesbians to finance a takeover of the world but their brains and their money and their skills are not available to to help us. To lead us. To inspire us. To finance us. To be like Lewis Powell's Nine Families. That, too is tragic. To have so much money and to not to use it for brothers and sisters, for family, for our continuation here on earth. Why is that? Rockefeller tithed himself from his very first dollar, to go to his church for his salvation. Please, can we get word to every rich gay person to show up to help save us. We need our Nine Families desperately.

Public service: how many religions demand this of their members? How much public service in behalf of your brothers and sisters, your family, have you performed recently? Don't tell me you don't know what to do. If you can find another ass to fuck, and you seem endlessly inventive at accomplishing this, then you should be able to locate a more useful and responsible outlet.

For a few brief years we had some noble moments, of togetherness and anger and progress. Not many of us, mind you. If you are still alive, you know who you were and where you were during those worst years of our mass murder. You know what you did and what you didn't. And I know too. I know that most of you, should you still be alive, didn't do a goddamned thing. In fact, you were ashamed of us, many of you were. I remember that as well as I remember those who died. "Friends" crossing the street to avoid me because I was advising cooling it. I was actually told to not come back to Fire Island Pines. Lots of people come up to me now on the street and say, thank you for what you did for us. I do not consider that a compliment. My response quite often's been a curt Fuck You, why aren't you doing it too! I don't do anything that anyone else couldn't do. I just do it, and some 10 or 15,000 other people did it too then. And the rest of you sat on your asses. And, those of you who are still alive, know who you were and how little you did.

Yes for one brief moment in time we got angry. Correction, a few of us got angry. Of all our many many millions of gay people in this country, about 10,000 of us or so got angry enough to accomplish something. We got drugs. We got AIDS care. We got enough so we could continue fucking again. That in the end is what it amounted to. As soon as we got the drugs, you went right back to what got us into such trouble in the first place. What is wrong with us? The cabal can't believe their good fortune.

How many gay people in America in those years of AIDS? Ten million? Twenty million? Thirty million? How many of us are there now? We don't even know how many of us there are! Or how many we lost! And every time some statistical number is released by some faceless organization or government office, I always wonder: how the fuck do they know how many of us there are when we don't even know how many of us there are? And none of our so-called gay organizations ever bothers to find out. It would be nice to know, helpful to know. Don't you think?

You know, it isn't meant to be easy, life. I don't know why it isn't meant to be easy, but it just isn't, so we might as well get used to it and try to find things that give us a certain sense of pride. We must create ourselves as something we can live with. It takes energy, yes. Why are we so crippled intellectually? Oh, we study sexuality and gender stuff until it comes out of every university's asshole but we don't study history, who we were and where we came from and our roots, the wellsprings of our historical existence. We do not honor our dead as we do not honor ourselves. We continue without surcease to be and remain, endlessly, day after day, helpless victims. "In my country when they raise the bus fares, we burn the buses," a Brazilian journalist said to me as she watched a
sparsely attended ACT-UP demonstration.

There is never one single hour that a disenfranchised minority does not have to fight to breathe and stay alive. The hate out there will never lessen. It only grows and grows, this hate. Most of you refuse to face this. I hate you for your doing that. I really do. I have no more patience for this kind of weakness. I know this is uncharitable of me. I don't care. I am too tired of fighting with so few troops. You are now dancing your own dance of death, you know. And I hate you for this, too. Grow up, I beg you. Oh, grow up.

Time goes by so fast. We are allotted so precious little of it on this earth. How sad that you use it so stupidly. Every minute that goes by is gone forever. You who have been given a new lease on life, the very gift of life itself, piss it away. It is so incomprehensible to me who has come so close to death a couple times. I find your inactivity and ingratitude and lack of imagination on how to act in emergencies incongruous, incomprehensible, insulting. And unacceptable. I could never understand during all those years of AIDS why every single person facing death would not fight to save his own life. And I cannot understand now how, life having been given back to us again, again you treat your life with such

Yes, all that I have spoken of tonight is the stuff of tragedy.

I wish we could truly look upon each other as brothers and sisters. It sounds corny I am told when I keep using terms like this. How can we be related I am asked dismissively. You do not know or want to know that we have been on this earth as long as anyone else and that we have as many available heroes and heroines as anyone else. Your family has been here a very long time and has an ancient and distinguished lineage. You must learn that Abraham Lincoln was gay and George Washington and Meriwether Lewis and so many others we are only just beginning to uncover. But they will not let gay history be taught in schools and universities. And we seem unable to teach ourselves. My own college, Yale, with $1 million of my own brother's money to do just this, will not teach what I call gay history, unencumbered with the prissy incomprehensible gobbledygook of gender studies and queer theory. Abraham Lincoln did not talk that language.

We richly deserve the government we have received. We do not even know who we are. And our enemies participate in their convictions every day of their lives. We only show up when we want to, which is not very often. But then perhaps you do not love being gay. Or think we are better than other people, and smarter and more talented and more tuned into what is happening, and are better friends.

I leave the hardest topic we must face till last.

How do we fight as a united front when they don't approve of our "behavior" and when our behavior is inseparable from our beings? How do we fight as a united front when some of us won't or are unable to change certain behaviors that many of us have difficulty in supporting and defending ourselves? We've been so concerned about showing the world a united front. We feel the need to say that everything gay people do is good and it simply isn't so. We must have an honest discussion amongst ourselves about what's good and what isn't. This is of course the problem that has finally brought us down because we have refused to deal with it, and perhaps is one reason today's youngsters have difficulty in acknowledging our past. It is the unfaced devil in our closet, if you
will, that we have refused to deal with and which, now, now that they have achieved their position of imperial power, will be used to hang us once and for all. To be crude about it, how do we market and sell our wishes and our needs as they have been able to package and sell their wants and needs so successfully for thirty-five years? How do we frame this issue? How do we claim the God that they have subsumed into their own ownership? It is inhuman to think that the only way we can get through to some safe other side is by policing each other and in so doing destroy whatever hope we have of getting along? If they have been able to convince this country that the Republicans are the party of the people, surely so many sons and daughters can be smart enough to find a way to sell our parents permission to co-exist.

I do not know how to answer any of this. And I don't think anyone among us does either. To talk out loud about what our bodies have done and continue to do is asking for trouble from others of us. How do we admit our past, own it, and evolve from it and move on? For we must do this.

I know some of you will immediately jump up to act. I caution rushing off to form anything quite so fast until we decide how we want to deal with what I have raised tonight. I know many of you are prepared to tough it out and say to them, "fuck you, I am what I am." And point out quite rightly that they have simply pushed us too far and, no matter what we have done and continue to do we simply cannot allow them to treat us this way any longer. We are human beings as much as they are, and their God is the same as our God and He simply cannot be allowed to be as punishing as they are requiring Him to be."

But this is perhaps too honest and reasonable to say to those who are not either. Reasoning like this has not worked for us in the past. But I sense that ignoring this question of responsibility for much that has murdered us will only please them more.

These are the problems we must confront as we go forward. If you are going to fight in a united way, which I am convinced is now the only way that can save us, we must find a platform that all of us can support without divisiveness and shame and guilt and all the other hateful weapons they will club us with.

And if we do want to go out and fight again in a united way we must ask ourselves: are we able to replicate the kind of devotion and commitment and backbreaking thankless work and tactics that continues to bring them year after year into such positions of unlimited power. Thirty-five years of that? For thirty-five years the cabal I have spoken of has worked every single day and night to bring them their success. Quite frankly they deserve their victory and we deserve our loss.

I would like to quote this from a Baptist minister, Tom Ehrich, in Durham. By chance, I found it on a Christian website at 3:00 this afternoon. "It would be helpful if we started in silence and just listened to each other's voices. Whether we can muster such maturity amid toxic political attitudes remains to be seen. If we are to have a meaningful national discussion of moral issues, we will need to start with the sexual issues, not because they are the most important but because they are the fire engulfing the tower. Let's get it all on the table...

"And let's do so openly and boldly, without the code language that we often use in moral debates, without our usual cherry-picking of Scriptures, without our usual blistering indignation, without the bullying that elevates one's viewpoint into divine certainty."

So we are being invited to this table whether we want to or not. We must be prepared.

I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we're better than other people. I really do. I think we're smarter and more talented and better friends. I do, I do, I totally do. I really do think all of these things.

And I passionately and desperately want all my brothers and sisters to stay alive and well and on this earth as long as they want theirs to.

Can we all help each other to reach this goal?

-Larry Kramer, November 7, 2004

Saturday, November 13, 2004

"Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin

Friday, November 12, 2004

Mark Morford mulls over the culture war in his latest column.

"Because there remains this astonishing and yet ever present fact: all the major cities of America, the great cultural centers and the places with the most concentrated populations and the most extraordinary restaurants and the highest percentage of college graduates and the most progressive laws and the truest sense of the arts and food and sex and music and dance and money and technology and lubricant and drugs and porn and love and fashion and spirituality, well, it seems they all voted blue."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I found this entry in Uppity Faggot earlier this morning and meant to link to it, but never got around to it. Until now.

In addition, a friend wrote me later and mentioned he thought it was appropriate for today, being Veteran's Day.

I happen to agree.
Read the damned poem, okay?

And peace to everyone.
Hey there.

You know, the election has really thrown me for a loop. I suppose it’s done that to many people. It’s been interesting to watch reactions and how each is choosing to handle this moment in history.

As far as myself, I went inward. Quiet. I lost my words.

Something happened yesterday. I saw art. This new work spoke to me in a very different way than the art I wrote about here. Although powerful and brilliant, it didn’t call me to paint the way these paintings do. They are portraits. Quick studies. The brushwork is erotic. I love the block of red in the first one. Exciting stuff!

On top of it, there is something familiar about them. I felt I was looking in the mirror. They stare back at me, accusingly. These paintings question my silence in paint.

The discovery came yesterday morning. I thought about them all day. I woke a few times in the middle of the night, the paintings weighing heavily. This morning I’ve stared at them again. And again.

Would you like to see them?

Take a peek.

Yesterday evening, while still thinking about this man's paintings, I had a new thought. What is the best way for me to deal with all that's happened? How can I make the most impact? What is the most positive, powerful statement I can make for change?

It is by not cheating myself.

How can I be an effective conduit for activism if I can't even take action in my own life? Why the fuck aren't I painting?

Don't tell me. I know.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Good morning.

"We are all suckers, all losers in this election. Are you a Democrat? Republican? Doesn't matter. The line is no longer liberal/conservative. It is no longer tax n' spend versus cut n' deficit, Toyota Prius versus Ford Expedition, happy godless heathen sodomite versus Mel Gibson.

It is now ultra-wealthy, power-hungry Bushite CEO versus, well, the rest. Do you see? Newsflash to conservatives: Bush just pretended to care about you, because he had to, because Karl Rove told him to, because he needed your fear and your blind faith to win another term. You matter about as much as a U.S. soldier in Fallujah, now."

That's an excerpt from Morford's column this morning, We Are All Dubya's Doormat.

And here is the latest Freewill Astrology.

Monday, November 08, 2004

An apology -

Sorry Everybody.

Thank you for the link.
Yesterday's fundraiser was a smash, in many ways, including the fact that I may have found the home for a coworker who is currently seeking to purchase. There was a man there from some organization in Anchorage...and I met and hooked up with the marketing director of one of Seattle's arts nonprofits. Everyone appeared to be having fun, eating, playing...and money raised.

I was exhausted yesterday. My energy began to seriously slip about half way through the event, so I wasn't in as playful a mode as normally. There's always another day, right? The offers were there and I had to pass.

Now a treat - depending on what side on the fence you're on. Harvey Fierstein was asked by the Creative Coalition to submit an essay for the book If You Had Five Minutes With The President. This is the video clip of said essay, from In The Life on PBS.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Seeing we are on a roll... :-)

Toys in Babeland, Doomed Rabbits and the Leather Scholarship Fund

The Tony DeBlase Scholarship Project (aka Leather scholarship) has partnered with Toys In Babeland in Seattle to bring to you, for a limited time only, the Doomed Rabbit Cookbook. These cookbooks are selling for $25. $20 from each book purchase will go toward the scholarship fund.  The cookbooks can be purchased at the Seattle location of Toys In Babeland. They only have 20 books, so make your purchase early. I happen to have a few extra books for anyone who can't make it to the Seattle location. Just email me at: autre at graffiti dot net.

What is the Doomed Rabbit Cookbook?
Back in 1994 Aubrey Sparks and friends came up with an idea to raise funds to help battle hate initiatives targeted at the glbt community in Washington State. Impressed by the energy and initiative of a local neighborhood's creation of a simple spiral bound cookbook to help raise money, Aubrey collaborated with friends.  Doomed Rabbit was born.  A few of the books still remain and are now being sold to help complete the $25,000 endowment for the Tony DeBlase Scholarship Fund.

This book is an important part of Leather History, especially Seattle's leather history.  Many of the contributors are no longer with us.  It was created in love, a substantial way to help combat hate.  It is perfect that the few leftover books are being used to assist in another project that promotes a positive light by assisting with education for a greater knowledge of human sexuality which in turn leads to powerful change.

Contributors to Doomed Rabbit
This is a compilation of recipes from the Seattle Leather community and friends.  In addition to local leatherfolk such as Daniel McGlothlen, Allena Gabosch, Dave Lewis (now deceased) and Lamar Van Dyke, other contributors to the cookbook were:

Tony DeBlase
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Hillary Clinton
Mike Lowry - former WA State Governor
Durk Dehner - Director of the Tom of Finland Foundation
Pat Califia
Guy Baldwin
The Hun
Dos Fallopia

Inside Doomed Rabbit
There are appetizers, entrees with meat and without, desserts, salads and soups.  Some recipes:

Doomed Rabbit (serves 4, 5 if the slaves are small)
Non-PC, High Fat, High Calorie Tomato-Bacon Soup
Hungry Pup Chow
Sadistic Curried Chicken
Seattle Daddy's Mommy's Chili
Margaret Weller's infamous Truffles (aka Chocolate Orgasms)
In addition, there are recipes for bath salts, leather care, lube and even a recipe for surviving the bigots.

The The Tony DeBlase Scholarship Project is a scholarship, managed by the Pride Foundation (www.pridefoundation.org), being established for students entering the fields of sex education, sex therapy, research or something that furthers the understanding of human sexuality, especially alternative sexuality.