Pandemic

1200px-Covid-19-curves-graphic2-stopthespread-v3

There have been whispers about a coming pandemic for years, but I am stunned by the rapid pace our world has changed.  We are ‘sheltering in place,’ a misnomer of a phrase, as the COVID-19 virus spreads through our country. We are now in week two of our self-imposed isolation, venturing out only for food and walks.  While I long to be busy again, for my partner and me, it has not been a hardship. We have food and enough savings to weather this storm. My partner can work from home while much of my daily plans outside our house, including regular visits to help support my 91-year-old mother in another state, have ceased. Mom is in her apartment alone, the refrigerator and freezer packed with food, and seems to be enjoying her quiet time after the recent passing of my father.  But at 91, she is not able to easily cook for herself and is surviving on mostly premade meals or frozen soup.

I was moved this morning to read about a transgender college student on Vox.com.  The student was living in a homeless shelter and using the campus gym to shower, and the school library to study is now struggling as the homeless shelter has no private space for her to take online classes or study. The article, Campus, dorms closed for coronavirus, leaving some LGBTQ students with nowhere to go, portrays how many college students are affected by their schools being closed because the schools were so much more than education. The schools provided food, medical care, safety net, behavioral therapy, and more.

Day by day, we see our world get smaller. Today our County Executive stated that we were getting very close to a ‘shelter in place order,’ requiring us to stay in our homes, except for food and other limited functions. How this would be enforced and for how long is anybody’s guess.  Given the rapid spread of this virus, I expect we are in for a very long period of our world being shut down.

World AIDS Day: Viewing Desert Migration

photo-20151213094532587

Tonight I attended a screening of the film, Desert Migration. The film is a documentary about long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS. The film tells a powerful story of different individuals, all long-term HIV/AIDS survivors, living in Palm Springs, CA. I have read about the complex set of issues facing long term HIV/AIDS survivors. I was very moved by the film and the filmmaker’s powerful way of letting each man tell their story in a raw, unfiltered manner. Continue reading

Almost Infected

wpid-photo-20151112062847296

Ken Nissman’s Obituary from the New York Times

Sometime after December of 1992, I got a call from Sharon, an old girlfriend of mine. Our friend Ken had died of AIDS and she was pulling together a memorial service. I had not known Ken was sick. Sharon told me how she had taken care of Ken and nursed him in the final months of his life. I remember her telling me how horrendous Ken’s final days were in the hospital and how he suffered. I had not known until her phone call that Sharon and Ken were even close. Continue reading

Love is Love

C7jxeg3V4AI_MKh

What makes love, love? Why does the rallying cry, love is love, that began with the Proposition 8 fight, ring true to so many people? What has changed in the culture that the once unthinkable, love between two men or two women, is now blessed by the Supreme Court of the United States as fully equivalent to the love between a man and a woman? Continue reading

I Went To A Marvelous Party…

hot tub

Last night I went to a party. It was with a group of gay and bisexual men, who I know from a peer support group for men who are attracted to men but have been married or involved with women. There was a small in-ground pool which some of the men went into. Bathing suits soon disappeared and the men stood in the water naked talking. After a short while, it became sexual with the men touching, kissing, and ultimately sucking each other. Continue reading

Wealth

c92f2ce5b5ed5563827c80f30bdde4a1

I am visiting my parents in Naples, Florida. I am overwhelmed and uncomfortable with the wealth in this place. While it is quite beautiful, it also is a town of tremendous largess and excess. The homes here are so large that it is hard to imagine who would need such a house. Continue reading

In The Shade

Photo 20150306145709210

I told my mother today that I was dating someone. To be more accurate, I asked her if my father had told her since I had mentioned it to him the week before. She, being very precise, said that he had told her that I had a boyfriend. This made me wonder exactly what the difference was between a boyfriend and dating someone. Saying I am dating someone seems to be a more natural thing to say. The term boyfriend seems oddly formed when it comes to my lips. It feels almost unnatural. Continue reading

Craving the Closet? Fuck that Shit!

Photo 20140810160134

I spoke to my mother today and asked if she had heard from my father that I had applied for a board seat with a nonprofit LGBT health care organization. As I described the organization, she asked, ‘Is that the only group they serve?’, meaning gay and lesbian. My father had asked the exact same question two days earlier. I explained that they served the whole community, but specialized in gay and lesbian health and was known for their care of HIV patients. Continue reading

Remembering Ron

373795439_0c24473d55_b

I’ve been thinking a lot about an old friend of mine, Ron, since recently seeing the HBO movie, The Normal Heart. Where did Ron go? Whatever happened to him? I’m determined to find out what happened to his life. Continue reading