My opinions

A father’s scientific and deeply heart-felt perspective on homosexuality.

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What most resonated for me was feeling this man’s intense love for his son, and witnessing him express that love so whole-heartedly in public.

For many if not most straight people, we queer folk are a total mystery very foreign to their felt experience of life and love and sex. Those who know us personally are forced to somehow “understand” us. This doctor uses his [very limited] scientific lens in that attempt to make sense of his intense love in the face of the stigma that still surrounds sexual minorities. I appreciate his core message: his son, hence gay men, hence queer people are not merely tolerable or acceptable. We are essential threads in the fabric of human society. We make the family, the culture, and the world a better place.

It’s to his loving affirmation of us that I say a big YES!


Inter-generational love

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Am delighted to be making some deep connections with amazingly conscious young men in their 20s and 30s: a whole new generation of wonderful relationships.
When I was exploring gay life in the 1970, older queer men were generally quite unattractive. Aside from their physical aging, they were generally quite emotionally unhealthy as well. I now realize this was a result of the terrible oppression they encountered in the years Gay Liberation, which really began in the early 70s, just as I was “coming out.” They were often bitter, cynical, jaded and plagued by low self-esteem, which was painful to see.
So it’s a happy surprise, now that I’m in my 70s, to experience young men drawn to me, not despite my age, but because of my maturity. Inter-generational friendship and love are becoming quite common among queer men. In part that may be because we are somewhat rare: so many of my generation were wiped out by the AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s.

This summer, Ziji and I celebrated our shared August 7th birthday: he turned 32, and I 73:
I find hanging out with young people helps me stay young…or at least be in denial of my actual age 😉

Shadow and Light

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A friend wrote me this morning:
“Have you ever had any experience with negative entities?  Even something that could be considered the devil?  I’ve been dealing with negative entities a lot lately (they’ve been following me home, basically) and I’ve just been trying to focus on cultivating love within myself to repel them.  We’ve never talked about it and I was just wondering if you’ve ever experienced them.  And if so, if you know any ways to repel or disempower them…it can get a little scary sometimes.”
The thoughts I shared in reply:
“In terms of negative entities, the best understanding I’ve come across is from the Buddhist traditions, where they often have icons of the Buddha surrounded by “wrathful dieties” that challenge the seeker to confront their own shadow side before gaining access to higher consciousness, which is represented by the figure of the Buddha.
Just as in dreams, where all the beings we encounter are actually facets of ourselves, any negative entities can be acknowledged as part of ourselves.
Am remembering Walt Whitman‘s line, “I am large! I contain multitudes!”
Am also recalling the teaching from A Course in Miracles that in every moment we have the same choice in various guises: we can choose Fear, or we can choose Love.
My struggle has been with my own shadow side. If I begin to develop any pride in being “spiritual” I quickly get reminded of my own pettiness, judgements, selfishness, resentments, etc., etc…reminded I have feet of clay and always will. Any spiritual insight I may have are not “mine” but fleeting flashes of grace.
There’s a wonderful Rumi poem that helps me grapple with all this.

Panetta: End of gay ban is historic for military

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Today, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is Done.”


It’s been 40 years since I  completed my tour of duty as an U.S. Air Force pilot in Vietnam, and finally began being able to live an open life, after 5 years of secrecy, isolation and loneliness.

So I celebrate today with all Americans that today our country is one step closer to living up to its founding values of

“liberty and justice for all.”

To Jack, with great admiration and affection, deep gratitude and grief.

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What I admire about Jack  is his ability to throw himself whole-hearted, unreservedly, into the fray of public discourse.
I so admire his passion and courage…his obviously deep love for his fellow humans.
Heart-felt thanks, Jack. You will be sorely missed, and those of us you inspired will carry on your vision and your work!
Jack’s final message:

“Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come…we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

John Gilbert “Jack” Layton

July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011

Vancouver Pride 2011

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The clouds parted just as the Dykes on Bikes roared down Robson!

Even after nearly 40 years of Pride Parades, I still get choked up at the site of all of us out strutting our stuff, celebrating the diversity of our sex/love lives.

Vancouver is a Queer-friendly City!Other personal highlights:

  • Large contingents of the Vancouver Police and Fire Department being out and proud in their uniforms and vehicles: a dramatic contrast from the  SF parades in the early 70s, when the SF police would grudgingly guard the parade route, barely concealing their animosity. Now a new generation of law enforcement folks are happily marching with us in solidarity.
  • The same with our national icon, the RCMP, in their traditional red surge.
  • All the float affirming  human rights in many forms.
  • Realizing most of the people marching had not yet been born when I experienced my first Pride in SF in 1972.
I keep being amazed, delighted, and deeply grateful that the times really are a’changin’.

I offer a deep bow of gratitude to Baba Ram Dass on his 80th birthday today.

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He has been one of my inspirations since 1973, when my dear friend Eric gave me “Be Here Now“. Despite his stroke a few years back, he is still offering his soulful presence online. Namaste, Babaji!

I love this photo of him [on the right] with his then-mentor Bhagavan Das, who led RD to find his guru,  Neem Karoli Baba in the 1960s.