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

Masculine / Discrete

I see many profiles on sites like Grindr and Scruff tags or descriptor that say: masculine only; discrete; no fems. Why? Why, in this day and age where a man in many parts of the country can easily be out and proud, do men want the gay part of their life hidden? While I do understand this thinking, it also makes me angry. In my book, a man that wants to be discrete is immediate disqualification for a potential date. After fighting so hard to be out of the closet and to root out internalized homophobia and shame within myself, I do not want to go back in the closet. Also, the term discrete implies an anonymous hook up without the possibility of anything more. Continue reading