The Gayborhood

04012016_TheGayborhood_VP.bb693d9f.fill-735x490

Philadelphia’s gayborhood is now easily identifiable thanks to rainbow markers that sit below 36 street signs in the neighborhood, which runs from Chestnut to Pine Streets between 11th and Broad Streets.

My nephew, who will turn 17 in a few weeks, in on the autism spectrum. He is considered high functioning and will graduate from a special high school with a high school diploma in two years. Continue reading

Salon with Boyfriend

Chopin_concert

Chopin plays for the Radziwiłłs, 1829 (painting by Henryk Siemiradzki, 1887)

Last night my boyfriend and I were invited over to the home of a friend for an evening of cocktails, dinner, music, and poetry. The music part entailed our host and three of the guests, including my boyfriend, playing the piano, cello, bassoon, and singing. The two of us without musical ability read poems. We heard a bit of opera, some beautiful classical pieces, and a few more modern songs. I read a Robert Burns poem that I love called, John Anderson my jo, John, and another man read a wonderful Maya Angelou poem called, Still I Rise. Continue reading

Understanding Transgender

img_2331

As much I have read about the transgender experience through a number of biographies of trans men and women, and through a few trans individuals that I have gotten to know, the trans experience, while more known to me, still feels so different from my own life as a gay man.  Continue reading

Being Out Has Its Privileges

img_0265-e1445998219633

A few years ago, before I came out, and long before I came out at work, I studiously hid even the slightest mention of anything gay. Since coming out at work last year and becoming the executive sponsor for my company’s newly formed LGBT Associate Resource Group, I have marveled as some of the LGBT related conversations I have had in the workplace.  Continue reading

Texted, Circa 2015

teen-texting-hero

My son texted me today with a simple question: “Hey, remember when we went to Florida with grandma, grandpa, my cousins, and everyone. How old was I?” In a digital age, all information is accessible, and I began to look online at my pictures that are backed up online. I quickly found a family picture from that trip to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday dated December 2008 and texted my son. Continue reading

Reality, Circa 1971

1972-Philadelphias-first-gay-pride-parade

As a child, I knew that I was different. I didn’t care for team sports. To this day I don’t understand football. In third grade at recess, I preferred to sit with my friend Billy at the base of a large tree and create a whole imaginary world with sticks and leaves while all the other boys in my all-boys school played baseball. Continue reading

Brave New Gay World

Biden at HRC dinner

The phrase, internalized homophobia, sounds like such a clinical term for something that is so insidious and works within so many gay men.

Wikipedia describes internalized homophobia this way:

“Internalized homophobia refers to negative stereotypes, beliefs, stigma, and prejudice about homosexuality and LGBT people that a person with same-sex attraction turns inward on themselves, whether or not they identify as LGBT.” Continue reading

Meeting The Parents

098893421706e3469c8c85afa4f16f30

A few weeks ago I asked my boyfriend to join me on a visit to my parents. This would be the first time I have ever brought a man that I was dating home to meet my parents. As soon as I asked him to come with me to visit my parents, I immediately became filled with fear. I began to have thought about him seeing my parent’s large house, their money and meeting my extended family with their prying questions. For a few days, the thoughts almost immobilized me. Continue reading