The Little Death

Litany Against Fear

 

There is real death, and then there is what I think of as, the little death. When I use this term I do not mean what people describe as, la petite more, a term that is tied to the feelings at the point of orgasm. I always think of, the little death, as it was described in the book Dune, by Frank Herbert.  He writes in the Litany Against Fear: “I have no fear, for fear is the little death that kills me over and over. Without fear, I die but once.” 
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Brave New Gay World

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.”

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Learnings from the Transgender Experience

I continue to be interested and read about the experiences of transgender men and women. Today it seems like trans is everywhere — in the news and on TV. Just yesterday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced proposed rules to extend nondiscrimination laws to cover transgender individuals under the Affordable Care Act. This is an amazing and important step that I could not have imagined a year ago. Continue reading

Rejected Shame

I just finished reading a wonderful memoir by Alan Cumming, Not My Father’s Son. In an important part of his story, Cumming’s writes about the first time he masturbated in a clearing in the woods, “I am at peace. I am twelve years old, my jeans are around my ankles, and I’ve just made a big discovery.” He then sees a man at the edge of the forest watching him. He continues, “My heart is suddenly racing and my cheeks are flushed once more. I can feel something rising up inside me. I am instinctively resisting but it is fighting very hard for control of me. It is shame.” He concludes in a way that I love, “I lie there for a while in the dusk, then make a decision, little knowing how it will affect every facet of my life and fiber of my being for the rest of my life: I say no to shame.” Continue reading

Mothers Day

This past Sunday was Mothers Day. While I feel my life has moved on in so many ways since separating from my wife almost two years ago, I felt that as the mother of our son, I needed to call her and wish her a happy mothers day. It was a strange feeling because I knew my wife and son would be getting together with my wife’s family to celebrate mothers day. Even though I would not have joined my wife and her family, it felt, none the less, like I had been left out of something. I called her cell. Got her voice mail, and left her a message. She did not call back. Continue reading

Unbridgeable Difference

I’m reading a wonderful memoir called Body Counts by Sean Strub. He and I are close in age and many of the places in New York that he went to in the 1970’s I went as well: a gay bar in the West Village called the Ninth Circle; Studio 54; the St. Marks Bath. I downloaded Body Counts by chance, not knowing much about Strub or his story. It just looked interesting. I am surprised by how well the book is written, with wonderful color and detail. Strub tells the story of AIDS from a deeply personal perspective while putting it into context of what was happening in the world at the time. Continue reading