Monday, June 27, 2011

Gay Pride Month

If your only experience with gay people is from watching Will and Grace or cheering for the cute gay kid on Glee, you might not want to read this.  I don't want to shatter anyone's fairy tale of how nice, polite and always cheerful we gays are. Because we aren't.

Last Friday the New York legislature passed a law recognizing marriage equality.  It was then signed by Governor Cuomo and takes effect July 24.   This is great news for the people of New York and LGBT people everywhere.   What made this particularly powerful is that it came at the beginning of Pride Weekend in New York, celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Something like Marriage Equality has the power to unite the LGBT community the way Pride parades and festivities used to do.

That's right, I said used to do.  Don't get me wrong, I don't believe there is anything wrong with having Pride celebrations, but I do think they're a bit hypocritical.  We come together under the colors of the rainbow to stand united for equal rights and common basic decency, but after the parades we go back to our lives of separateness and isolation within our own community.  We go back to being black, white, twinks, gym bunnies, fit, overweight,  bears, cubs, drag queens, leather daddies, chicken hawks,  hustlers, trolls, and dykes.

Of course each subgroup has it's own community, but as we section off and label each other, we become further and further apart.  Pride is supposed to bring us together. Not just for one day or one month. How about all the time?  We come together when we're fighting for our rights, or fighting for a cure to a deadly disease.  I have to believe it's possible for us to stop judging each other and finding what makes us different, and start looking for the similarities in each of us.

Can we live in a world where the gym bunny can have a conversation with a troll in the produce section of Kroger?  Where we don't look away from each other for fear that eye contact will obligate us to a quickie in the men's room?  Can't we just connect as human beings?

Legislature can give us all the rights we want, but if we can't treat each other kindly and with respect, do we really deserve them?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Postcards from the Desert

I'm going through and making revisions to my novel, Postcards from the Desert, and decided to post a little teaser here. It's part of my promise to fill this space with something more often.  Here's how the novel begins, at least in this revision:

I carefully balanced my feet on the iron railing spanning the length of the Brooklyn Bridge. I held on as I leaned out to get a good look at the East River below and out across the New York Harbor.  It would be about a 120 foot drop.  I wondered if the water would be cold, or if I’d feel anything when I hit.  Would the shock force me to take a breath as I shot below the surface?
            Suicide was nearly impossible from the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway.  In order to end up in the East River, one would have to climb over the railing, walk a steel girder over the heavily traveled roadway below, and then climb through a mesh of cables to actually get to the edge in order to jump.  One was more likely to fall into traffic and be hit by commuters heading out of Manhattan in the evening rush hour.   It was too much of a risk and too much trouble for one to off themselves this way.  It was a good thing that wasn’t what I had in mind. 
            I only wanted to swan dive into the East River to see what it felt like.  I was hoping the rush of cool water would shock me out of my midlife blues.  I hoped by coming close to death, I’d appreciate being alive.  I wanted to feel again. Something. Anything but the numbness that had become my constant companion.
            Tourists crowded around me. Some seemed to be watching to see if I was going to jump.  A few pulled out their cell phone cameras and began snapping pictures of what they would later tell their friends was a crazy New Yorker about to take a dive.  One frozen snapshot in the grand scheme of things called my life.   Most of the crowd was completely unaware as they took pictures of the Harbor, with Lady Liberty in the background, or Manhattan as the sun sank low behind the skyline.  Many were locals traveling the bridge as they did several times a week.  They were the most oblivious. 
The lights of the bridge began to glow as twilight took the city.  It was my favorite time of day.  As I gazed into the horizon, I felt my phone vibrate.   I pulled it out of my pocket and stepped back down onto the platform. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Other Side of the Rainbow

If you know me, or have read this blog, you know I've been working on my first novel, Postcards from the Desert, for a few years. I finished it earlier this year and am currently going through the revision process. 

While I've been working on Postcards from the Desert, I've also done some freelance writing.  One of the projects began as filler for a local gay newsletter.  I called the column The Other Side of the Rainbow.  It was a Tales of the City type serial reminiscent of Sex and the City.  It's a funny, racy and sometimes shocking look at the gay dating scene. 

At the urging of a few of my readers, I decided to publish some of the stories in a novelette form as an ebook for Kindle or the Nook.  The first of what I suspect will be four novelettes is called The Other Side of the Rainbow- The Beginning.  It's now available at and Barnes and Noble online.  I'm editing and compiling the second of the series, called The Other Side of the Rainbow- Celibacy and the City, which chronicles the gang's big adventure to Manhattan for Gay Pride festivities.  

The novelettes feature Bradley Ford, an obituary writer for a local Dayton newspaper, who also writes a blog exposing the gay dating scene in the Ohio town. Using his friends, Tony and Steve as guinea pigs, Bradley reveals their experiences while he avoids men and dating as he tends to his own broken heart.  All of that changes when Bradley rediscovers the one who got away. 

The Other Side of the Rainbow- The Beginning is a very quick read at just over 8000 words, but it will leave you wanting more. 

Check it out for the Nook at Barnes and Noble or for Kindle at   

Bad Blogger...... Very Bad Blogger

Have I mentioned that procrastination is one of  my character defects?  Guess what?  It is.  I can't believe my last post was April 30. Although that only seems like yesterday.  The past month and a half have gone by very quickly.  I've been terribly busy and a lot has been going on.  I know. No excuses.  I could have written something.  The truth is that I wasn't sure what to write.  When I began this blog my number one rule was "no rules."  I'd let myself write about anything..... well, anything except negative feelings.  I try to be positive all the time.  No one wants to hear my tales of woe, but I think I may just have to purge myself for just a moment.  Stop reading here if you're only looking for Mary Sunshine today.

You're still here?  Really? Last chance....... okay, you asked for it.

I've been depressed.  There, I said it.  I don't need to be medicated or hauled back into therapy.  I'm simply having a brief relationship with The Blues.  It's nothing some exercise, sunshine, and time to reflect won't help.

What caused this affair with old Mr. Melancholy?  It started as money worries.  I know no one can relate to that, right?   Lately it seems there is never enough, and I live a pretty low key lifestyle.   I know people who live on far less than I have, including me a few years ago, so I know lack of money is not the end of the world.

Then I found out that a very dear friend has cancer.  If you've read my blog before, you know how I feel about cancer.  It sucks!!!  I have every hope and belief she is going to beat this, so I stay positive.  I just hate that she has to go through it.

So, that's what's been going on with me.  No excuse for not writing, but there it is.  I'm coming to the other side of the Blues.  I'm sure it will be back someday, but I'll beat it then too.  I want to end this entry with a quote I ran across the other day. It seems so perfect for me and our whole society.  As we continue to struggle in wars across the sea, an economy in turmoil, and people who have to choose between feeding themselves or their children this reminds us that will still need something more.

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh