Becoming One

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Today I am an out and proud gay man. I am out in every facet of my life. But this has not always been the case.  Continue reading

Hardwired Gay

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Based on my earliest memories, I knew I was different from other boys. It was not simply learned behavior, but from the very beginning, it was something at the core of who I was. Continue reading

Attracted to Men

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In the 1970s, when I was a teenager, my father worked very hard on a large multi-year project that had a high risk of failure. He worked long hours, was under a lot of stress, and came home tired and irritable. My father was a man of sharp edges. There was always something hard-charging about him. He was not one to cross. Continue reading

Sexuality and Aging

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When you are in your 20’s no one ever tells you how your body will age sexually. You just think it will go on with the same intensity and functionality forever. But the reality is a bit different. Continue reading

The Trauma of Growing up Gay, Part II

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I wrote recently about the trauma of growing up gay in the early 1970s. The largest single thing that influenced my perspective on homosexuality as a naive fourteen years old was the book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) by U.S. physician David Reuben. The book was published in 1969. Continue reading

Sharp Edges and Rough Spots

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For me, Philadelphia, the city I grew up in, was a weight around my neck when I was in high school. I felt I could not be my true self in Philadelphia. When I went back to Philadelphia for graduate school and worked for my father’s company part-time, I began to see what living in Philadelphia would be like. My parents had a wide network of friends. My father served on multiple boards, had business and political connections across the city. My parents traveled in certain circles that, had I stayed, I would have been expected to travel in too. I hated it. Continue reading

Me and Football

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The men stood around the large 36-inch color TV, encased in the fine wood finish of an expensive 1960’s television. They spoke a language that was indecipherable to me. Grunts and cheers. Screaming at the TV. “Ah, Christ, that was a terrible call.” “Go! Go! What’s the matter with you?” They spoke a raw angry tribal language I did not understand. The violence of their shouting frightened me. I was probably five or six years old. Continue reading

Owning It

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Last week I went to Harrisburg, PA to see the comedian Ian Harvie perform. It was a great evening. His humor is so fresh and honest. He talks about his experience of being a trans man in a way that brings you into the experience with ease and humor. Continue reading

Unbridgeable Difference

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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 1970s, 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 into context what was happening in the world at the time. Continue reading