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!
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 😉
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.”
“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
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.
- 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.
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.