As my aunts health declined, I remember seeing her increasing fear of the world. Every stranger that came to the door was trying to steal from her. From the nightly news the world looked like a very frightening and dangerous place. Increasingly my aunt was isolated within the walls of her own fear and isolation.
What’s the best way to deal with a parent or relative as they age. My aunt, my mother’s sister, raged through her decline with anger, denial and increasing hallucinations. My mother has taken a different approach, always the optimist, she tries to see the positive. But like my aunt, my mother is strong willed. Often when mom says yes it really a secret no.
In the late 1980s, I was involved in a New York City-based philosophy that stated through the study of their philosophy that men could change from homosexuality to heterosexuality. I studied this philosophy for a few years and as one might guess, I did not change. Continue reading →
In the early 1970s, the choices for my life were stark. My father showed me a model of the rugged individualist. Then there was my attraction to men and the life that homosexuality seemed to promise. Neither was what I wanted. Continue reading →
It is hard to know where to begin when writing a personal history. Do I start as a small child already feeling different than my peers, or do I begin later when I first began to understand my attraction to men? Let me tell this story through a series of vignettes over time. Continue reading →
Now, “different” is nice, but it sure isn’t pretty
“Pretty” is what it’s about
I never met anyone who was “different”
Who couldn’t figure that out
– At The Ballet from A Chorus Line
I knew I was different from a very young age, even though my mother, grandmother, and aunt tried to turn it into being special. As the character Bebe sings in A Chorus Line, I figured out that I was not like the other boys, and it was not a good thing. I did not engage in baseball on the playground, I was utterly disinterested in sports and could not get my head around the rules or players’ role in different games. Continue reading →
One of my earliest memories of my aunt was when I was three or four years old. She would tell me stories about a fairy named Matilda that lived in a thimble under her bed. She would talk in a high childlike voice as she explained that she would feed Matilda strawberries and cream every morning and they would drink tea from little tiny teacups and have all kinds of adventures. Continue reading →
My aunt died a few weeks ago. She had been in the memory unit of an assisted living facility, and for months, wavered between being alert and hallucinating. She died quietly, lying down after a meal, and passing away. Continue reading →