Living Gray and Gay by RJ

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Does "Will and Grace" show how my son will grow up?
Posted by Mrs. XXX  

Uncle R.J.,

I am writing to you because I feel that your Nephew Butchie would only tend to confirm the fears I'm having. He may not mean to do it, but I don't want to take a chance asking this question from someone of a younger age who will possibly add to the problem and NOT the solution. I hope I can go ahead and not get anyone's feelings hurt or produce an hysterical reply.

Our son came out to the family when he was nine years old. It was a shock because he acted as "normally" as any other nine year old boy  He played basketball and baseball and was liked by his friends because he was a great kid who made everyone feel at ease.

Because I a mother, part of my career description includes worrying about many things, but mostly about my kids.

My husband says I'm nuts, so I'm looking for some validation from you, R.J.

We remember a television program from years back called "Will & Grace." At the time we thought it was humorous, and we enjoyed Jack as an exceptional type in the gay community. Now that it's on again, we don't laugh. We are uncomfortable and are really terrified that our son will grow up to be like Jack.

You may think I'm crazy (or whatever) but please respect how I am feeling when you answer.

Thank you,
Mrs.XXX (and husband)

Dear Mr. and Mrs. XXX,

I can understand how you are feeling. From what you write, your son doesn't have any of the stereotypical traits which make people suspect he is gay. He is, in fact, the type that no one believes when he comes out of the closet.You may think that everyone can recognize a gay boy very easily. Your surprise will come when that proves to be false.

Back to your immediate concern-- I find "Will & Grace" amusing at times, but I also know of few gay people who act like Jack-- unless they've had too much to drink and are encouraged to "camp it up." 

Mr. and Mrs. XXX...your son will grow to adulthood with no outward signs of being gay. It's only when another person becomes a friend to a gay person and a trust is established that "coming out" is usually met with acceptable, friendship and love. Smile as you see it happen!


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
IN LOVE BUT KEEPING THE BABY AND THE BATH WATER

This letter has been translated by a friend who was able to translate from Polish to English. I am very grateful to her for volunteering.

Dear Cousin Butchie,

I have just moved to the United States to be with my boyfriend of six years. We are both 23 years old and met during music summer seminars, which really improved upon our proficiency with the music, but also created a bond between between us which only musicians can fully understand.

In many ways, Bogie and I are learning more about each other and almost setting the stage for our wedding. In the past we lived together during the summer months and were sharing our music and our thoughts, hopes and dreams, as well as our plans for a marriage. We e-mailed a great deal between the regular school semesters and talked a lot by phone. Bogie's parents and family are wonderfully accepting of us and our plans. BTW my family is somewhat unique. While they are active in their Roman Catholic parish, but we liked one another from the very start, and Bogie's parents have had a belief system which they find workable for themselves and the God they understand as a non-judgemental and loving parent. They compare their situation to that of their friends who have made thoughtful decisions about birth control and divorce. By using their conscience(s) they can opt out of feeling sinful or wrong in their understanding of God. Since my own parents are equally as loving and rational, we have a relationship which seems headed for the altar. I should add that when Pope Francis was elected to the papacy he made some wonderfully surprising statements about keeping away from matters of little or no real importance AND making our spiritual beliefs in sync with what's important and what isn't so important if this church (and many others) are going to remain important and the ones which have not been major concerns of the people... and we must realize that stealing $5 is not something of the same importance as abusing a child.

To clarify all the words you've just read, Pope Francis told people of all faiths not to pick a few "sins" and focus so much on the current issues. In the American Catholic Church, the three subjects which don't need to be treated as the reason(s) for a crisis. The reference is made to gay marriage, abortion and who is worthy to receive Communion and those who aren't. There's plenty more issues of far deeper concern to God than what we all were probably taught in primary school.

P.S.

With the love and unity we should all pursue... and never leave out a vital part of any search for understanding and love.

Cousin Butchie

Thank you for letting me give you the background. In my opinion, I will give this personal topic a few more weeks. We will see if others join the chorus.

Thank you for your help in starting this subject. I am willing to turn off the computer for now. In the meantime, you are more than welcome to jump in with your opinion-- pro and con. We will revisit as many as possible in the coming weeks. It's up to you to ask more pointed questions. You may also send a private e-mail to www.KippyNJ@aol.com.



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Monday, April 11, 2016
Vatican Still Doesn't Really Get It
Posted by RJ  

Dear Uncle RJ,

I know your nephew, Cousin Butchie... and I don't think he is smart enough to answer my question. Don't tell him I said that, but it is true.

So... What is your opinion of the latest statements from Pope Francis on April 8, 2016?

You Know Who!


Dear You Know Who!

I really don't know who you are, but that's beside the point. I'm pleased that someone Butchie's age (more or less) would ask a question like yours.

To start, in conducting several synods open to Catholics all over the world,  questions were asked on almost every aspect of family life and had room for honest answers. Because Pope Francis is quoted as saying that in regard to LGBT people "Who am I to judge?" at the very beggining of his election to the papacy, people felt he would honestly address the horrendous statements made in the past by previous popes. We were called "intrinsically disordered" and people with "same-sex attraction." et al.

In my opinion, Pope Francis talks about mercy and understanding and recognizing conscience and sensitive personal situations, it isn't too easy to understand in his 256 page apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" which means THE JOY OF LOVE. It's there, but no one could really tell you what the ramifications will be.

While not one church doctrine was changed, Pope Francis asked for a more understanding and pastoral approach to the treatment of people in second marriages, etc.  As for LGBT people, there was also the request that people in this category be respected and shown love and compassion and respect for their consciences.  However, this in no way approved gay marriage. It leaves any counsel and acceptance to arise from local pastors in different areas of the world, (What does that mean???)

It is possible to read the opinions of some well-respected Catholic theologians (like Father James Martin, S.J.) and accept that the Pope has opened the door for discussion of all these sensitive issues, and that the door cannot be closed or ignored in the future.

So... My personal feeling is that Pope Francis has tried his best, but he found it impossible to please the conservatives and the liberals in the Catholic Church. Instead, he made some oblique statements. In fact, the document is a paramount example of double talk, I seriously doubt that any priest or bishop in this country can tell you exactly what will be accepted and what will remain the same but with a kinder approach. As for gay marriage, even all of the gay priests (99% closeted) realize that their kindness and respect cannot lead them to approve of gay marriage or gay adoption.

We were always taught that the Catholic Church moves very slowly. In the case of Pope Francis, he didn't take an inordinant amount of time to craft this document, but he was unable to give LGBT Catholics the heads up needed to feel totally loved and accepted in the Church. He must have also let down many of the silent gay members of the hierarchy and the priesthood and religious orders.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015
After Five Years He Doesn't Want to Get Married!
Posted by RJ  

Dear  RJ,

I was going to send this question to your nephew, Butchie-- but I decided that asking an older dude (do they still call you a dude at your age?) would be better. You are older and wiser and probably have seen it all and done it all. I hope you understand my reasons...

I have been in a relationship for the past five years with Mr. Right. In the beginning, we both were sure that we were right for each other. Now, it's a different story. I want to get married, and Mr. Right is against it. We are both 22 years old and met in high school. It was love at first sight, and we both are finally earning enough money for a decent apartment, etc. Mr. Right travels on business about once a month, and I have found evidence that he is not monogamous all the time. When we were dicussing my desire to get married, he acted blind-sided and said he needed to think about it. I told him that he just didn't want to be monogamous, and I told him I knew about his monthly affairs with another dude. I also want to get married because so many of our friends have married since it became legal in NJ.

What is your advice on this problem? And please answer quickly because I am getting more aggravated day by day.

Mr. Faithful


Dear Mr. Faithful,

Thank you for bypassing my nephew to ask a question. I'm sure he will be pissed off for a while, but Butchie has reacted this way since he was 2 years old.

I think that you and Mr. Right need to sit down calmly and discuss where you want your relationship to go. I know that there are couples who marry, but it isn't monogamous. They merely agree never to bring the trick home and always to practice safe sex. If Mr. Right doesn't agree, possibly it's time to part ways.

If you arrive at an agreement which makes a marriage workable, remember that gay marriage gives you rights and tax advantages which are significant. If you have a close friend who could act as mediator, that might be a good idea. I'll volunteer if you wish.

Another important thought. Just because gay marriage has become legal doesn't mean that every couple wants or needs to rush to the altar. It's similar to when the military repealed the "Don't ask, Don't tell" rules. I personally don't know of one gay or lesbian person who has rushed to join the service based on this new ruling.

Best to both of you,

Uncle RJ


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Just a test!
Posted by RJ  

I haven't posted in quite awhile, but my nephew, Cousin Butchie seems to have made up for it.  I've always liked the kid, but he does come across as having all the answers! 

I talked to Butchie the other night and we decided to see if anyone will actually respond to his posting or mine.  So.... We are asking a few questions and asking you to reply at Butchie's alternate email (www.kippynj@aol.com) or on this NJGayLife site.  Either way, we want to find out if you guys (and gals) will reply.

1.   Who is your favorite male actor?

2.   Name one or two movies which are your favorites of all time.

3.   Whether you are old enough to vote or not, who is your choice for oour next President?

Thanks for helping this experiment!


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Justice from New Brunswick, NJ???
Posted by RJ  

JUSTICE FROM NEW BRUNSWICK???  I waited to write anything about the trial and the sentencing of Dharun Ravi because I thought others would have more learned input.  Certainly, Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality did an excellent job of speaking via the media.  In his comments, I (and I am sure the vast majority of us) felt equally as puzzled, indignant and thoroughly disappointed as Mr. Goldstein did. 

You have all read the newspapers, watched the television and the cyber news.  What can one add to them?

Living here in the senior residence known as "God's Waiting Room," I would like to share the reactions of SOME of the residents.  Every so often, an event hits one in such a blindsided way that they speak out when they might otherwise have remained silent.

So.... Here are the comments I heard after the sentencing was explained at a meeting just after 1 PM:

"That is the stupidest sentencing I have ever heard."

"The judge certainly had lots of things right about Dharun Ravi, but he obviously ignored all of it when he imposed a thirty day sentence."

"I am just bewildered. Ravi never once apologized, not even to his parents or to the parents of Tyler Clementi."

"Judge Berman would have been good with the Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson trials.  They would have ended the same way.  Oh, and don't forget the Rosenbergs.  Injustice has a long history in this land of the free.

RJ back again--  I can only explain the nauseated feeling I had after Judge Glenn Berman seemed to "dangle us all on a rope,"  reprimanding Ravi for countless charges  and then saying that he didn't believe Ravi hated Tyler Clementi. 

   I never advocated for the death penalty or life in prison, or any such extreme form of retribution in this case.  My only hope is that the prosecution will prevail in having the sentence augmented.  In my mind,  Tyler Clementi and Matthew Shepherd must both be looking down sharing our indignation.

 


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Now the Vatican is Gunning for the Sisters!
Posted by RJ  

More than likely you have read or have heard about the Vatican's attempt to pay particular attention to the religious sisters in the church.

I should preface this for you with the facts about our modern day sisters.  In the past, they were more likely to be called "nuns" and they were very often mean women who found some justification in their calling to be physically abusive to children in their classes.  Those classes were often groups of 50-70 children [I kid you not] and all these nuns could do to maintain order was to be cruel and deluded servants of the church.  I never experienced this myself, but I saw that it was going on...and that the parents often didn't know because the parents would have considered themselves sinful if they had sided with the reports of their own children.  Considering the mangnitude of this problem is so large that it was considered a "given" for so long is disturbing as I look back on it.  Perhaps they were acting miserably because their religious "habits" were uncomfortable and kept them annoyed. 

Having illustrated the nuns of the past, I can now give you my findings with the the religious women of today.  They are most often dressed in "normal" clothes and they are very much in tune with the mission of the Roman Catholic Church to be a living witness of the way Blessed John XXIII had begun a true renewal.  The buzz word back then was "aggoriomento"  which was translated to mean an opening of the windows of the church to let in some fresh air.

Today's Sister is very often more of a "sister" to people.  Some may still be teaching in Catholic  grammar schools or academies, but the majority are serving as pastoral associates, counselors, high school and college educators.  In a very concrete way they mirror the Blessed Virgin Mary as they reflect the warm, loving, gentle, feminine face of God.  I believe I am correct in saying that the woman who lives her vocation as a religious sister does so only because it is her desire to remain.  We had unhappy nuns before, but they somehow recognized they were in the wrong profession and left.  Deo gratias!

There has always been controversy about the place of women in the church.  It all centers on a fear of women from an all male hierarchy.  We don't have women priests because we are told that Jesus only chose men as the first priests, the apostles.  But this doesn't impress because all of those apostles, except one, were married men.  However the women we call Sisters very often teach in seminaries, write theological books.  The big concession (which is not held in unanimous regard) was allowing girls to be altar servers.  I understand that several dioceses have refused to follow this practice. 

Perhaps I digressed too much, so I'll briefly explain what's happening: After about a two year investigation of the majority of religious orders in the United States (by a woman who is a sister herself)  a mandate was issued by the Vatican (Benedict XV) that there was to be oversight of all the religious orders belonging to the LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS-- an umbrella organization representing 80% of the women religious in this country.  This oversight is composed of members of the male hierarchy! 

This posting has been sketchy but you can Google specific details on this situation.

My experience has been most often with the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.  Many have been supportive of the GLBT initiatives in this country, and this is one of the reasons they are being put under the microscope. It is my hope that none of these Sisters lose heart and that they somehow contribute to the establishment of what I have wanted for years, an American Catholic Church.  We give them our love, our support, and our great admiration for doing enough to put the fear of God into our hierarchy.  Were this not true, there would be no need to appoint the watchdogs!

And as a final observation, might we all ask the male hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to get their own houses in order and not divert attention to the sisters.  How many millions of dollars have been spent in settlements for sexual crimes committed by Catholic men?  WHY HAS THERE BEEN NO SPECIAL APPOINTMENT OF MONITORS OF WHAT HAS STILL NOT BEEN SETTLED?  COULD WE NOT GIVE BIRTH TO A FEMALE ADVISORY COMMISSION TO CAPTURE THE PREDATORY PRIESTS & BISHOPS?????

RJ


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Sunday, April 8, 2012
Easter, Passover, the Titanic and the LGBT Community
Posted by RJ  

Easter, Passover, the Titanic and the LGBT Community

The convergence of two of the most profound holydays for Christians and Jews occurred this past week.  In the coming week, we recall the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage (April 14, 1902).  Given time to meditate a little on these three events, I believe we can, in fact we must, see the threefold message we can learn from all of this.  The LGBT Community will miss the boat if we ignore these events and don't catch the parallel AND we will have missed an opportunity to make an improvement we need to make in our lives.  The improvement is something we don't really like to discuss, but we all know that there's a need to talk about it.

Passover's central theme is liberation and freedom.  For Christians, the events of Holy Week revolve around God's unconditional love, forgiveness and inclusiveness.  In this latter tradition, I have heard about Roman Catholics who have been away from the practice of their faith for thirty years.  They feel tremendous anxiety about speaking to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but they go.  When they tell the priest the number of years they have been away, he embraces the person and says WELCOME HOME!  Then, there's the Titanic!  While many people sought lifeboats which were comfortable because they took up far more room than they needed to be safe, others sacrificed and fit passengers into lifeboats which became uncomfortable but safely made room for many passengers who might have drowned otherwise. They also said WELCOME ABOARD WHERE YOU BELONG!

All the above are examples of ordinary people living out their faith, or possibly just their sense of common decency, and the result was saving lives.  It's interesting to recall that many of these heroic people had a feeling common to all of us-- that their small actions would do no good and that their efforts would serve no purpose.  How wrong they were!

In the LGBT Community, we have many good people who still feel that they cannot reach out and be of help to their contemporaries. Let's put the DOMA aside for a moment, and examine the "smaller" challenges we face from day to day.  How often have you or I ignored bullying of our GLBT brothers and sisters because we fear calling attention to ourselves?  The cyber destruction of our brothers' and sisters' character, sexuality, beliefs, love and freedom can all be killed by a bigoted classmate or co-worker or friend (until the message is posted).  Grapically explaining this was a very brief message on a teenager's Facebook page which said, "The wind blows and so does -----"  At a certain age, we might be well beyond any harm such a posting could make, but for the teenager it can be a first or a final step toward suicide.

      This tyranny we vent on others in our own LGBT Community goes far beyond the expected actions of adolescents.  Some form a closely knit circle of friends and all the rest of the LGBT Community are considered outcasts.  It happens repeatedly to men and women who don't fit the stereotyped models of the musclebound, six to eight abbed dudes who must be not only promiscuous but well-educated and wealthy.  For the lesbians, it can be some movement away from the "in" definition of a lesbian at the moment-- be it ultra-feminine or a worked out truck driver image.  We know  that the labels range from "lipstick lesbian" to "dykes" to everything in between the categories listed or far more precisely members of that grouping.

      We also have a very unfortunate situation in which gay men discriminate totally because of age.  I know of several gay men who consider their lives "over" because they are "dead meat" at the age of 26!  It's almost impossible not to notice that a 60 year old man in a gay bar often considers himself invisible because there is not so much as a smile from younger patrons. Oh yes, the bartender will almost always be nice as his tips depend upon it.

       We live in  a society where limits can be drawn and we can do away with stereotypes and labels.  In all honesty, how often could a young gay man find great help and questions/lessons clarified by being a friend to an older man as a mentor?  I might be stereotyping myself now, but I have noticed that lesbians seem to be much more grounded in bonding between differing age groups. 

       When I presented the teachings of several common religious traditions (at the beginning of this post) I was merely pointing out what is good and beneficial in our religions of birth.  Of course, many  religious leaders have screwed up badly.  Truth be told, so have we.  Discounting the actions of pedophiles and thieves, do we often expect far more from these leaders than we would ever expect of ourselves?  One friend of mine suggested that priests and ministers must not masturbate!  My response was only that I knew of no one in the entire State of NJ, including the gubernatorial paragon of virture and manners, who could honestly make that claim.  And why should they need to? 

       For our own sake and for the future of a bonded and truly caring LGBT Community, maybe it's time to stop allowing ourselves to be made the enemies of one another!  Let's work on making this potentially wonderful (fabulous) community of ours to start loving our members who are outcast by others, by both the young and the old respecting each other and learning from one another, by remembering that AIDS is not over, and that AIDS jokes are not funny--  by allowing ourselves to be teachers of one another-- old, young, fat, thin,average looks and Hollywood model types.

       It has taken a lot of care and a delicate choice of words to bring us to the important words we all heard or sang years ago--"Come on people now, smile on your brother (sister), let's join together and love one another right now." 

Take the challenge, and let one specific gesture or even one statement each day help to build up the community we love.  Alienating or demeaning any members of this community starts the fast-growing decay which we are called upon to prevent from happening.

And your thoughts?

RJ

 

 

 


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Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Bad Penny Returns
Posted by RJ  

Greetings to all of my thousands of readers who have missed my blogs lately.  Your cards and messages and floral deliveries sent to the funeral home have been forwarded to me.  Worry not!  It was all some sort of mix-up so I can save my new suit for another time. 

I have been busy here at God's Waiting Room, and I've learned some valuable things here in the past weeks.  I'll try  randomly try to encapsulate them so that you, my wonderful readers, can learn from them, laugh at them or dismiss them as you see fit.

While I have made no conscious effort to return to the closet, it has partially happened.  I'm experiencing what my heterosexual counterparts experience, and I am forced to admit that I would not make a choice to be straight...even if such a choice were possible.

Living with old cranky people when one is a mere chicken at 65 is rough.  When I first moved in, I didn't know about the horrible way that  older people can treat each other.  Nor did I know about the rumor mill operating in the building.  Nor did I ever dream that I would have to endure rumors of sexual escapades.  Were they about other dudes it would be great.  As it is, some of the women are high on estrogen.  While they may be tolerable some of the time, I believe that they give the word "bitch" a entirely more definitive meaning to me.  I don't totally blame them considering some of their personal backgrounds-- some have been widowed and supposedly haven't had sex in forty years.  Others have never been married, and the prospect of a "chicken" in the building gives them hope.

In the past weeks, here are some of the more horrible happenings:

1.  Being somewhat of a slut, I will confess to you that the unfortunate suicide of Tyler Clementi has bothered me a great deal, BUT  I will also have to be honest and say that I believe that Dharun Ravi has an incredibly homo-erotic quality about him.  Thus, I could not have been on the jury!

2.   I have been nominated and have accepted the position of vice-president of the tenant' association.

3.  I have found myself asked numerous questions  about Roman Catholicism.  These aren't the standard catechism type questions, rather they are sincere questions about how Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY can have the unmitigated gall to announce a financial campaign to raise $177 milion.  In the present economy, and with the archdiocese closing schools and parishes and social services, the money is "needed" to renovate Saint Patrick's Cathedral. The people are being led to believe that the cathedral will crumble and injure people inside.  In my view, duct tape, crazy glue...even Astro Glide can work wonders at far less cost than the proposed plan.  I've told these older Catholics that we need to really attack the "bottomless pit question" asked by almost everyone... If the Vatican were to drop things down a few notches and sell some of the treasures within, many people could be fed and trained to be self-sustaining.  Right now, the Pope, B-16 is vague on this alternate idea and worries that his Gucci shoes (or are they Prada?) will be eliminated.  It would be back to Payless for his kickers.

4.   Having the "passability" to appear and act heterosexual, I get to hear some of the comments the elderly gentlemen make about their current or former wives.  I was, in fact, told that we should never say that someone needs to have balls because they are sensitive and annoying appendages which indicate no strength or power to the possessor.  Nope, they suggest saying that a person needs more pussy because this organ can take one hell of a pounding.  I've heard this from any number of geezers, but I believe the credit goes to Betty White.

5.    One evening in February a neighbor I really wasn't sure that I had met knocked at my door and asked if I could help her open a jar of pickels. The fact that it was 11:15 pm totally escaped the lady.

6.    I am very much in a leadership spot in this palatial dwelling place, and this means that I often get the brunt of ire when something displeases the residents.  I can count on one hand the number of times anyone has thanked me for anything.  Oh, there was the crying Cub Scout in our lobby men's room at Christmas.  He couldn't get his fly closed.  His thank you was only generated by leading him to the snack table for the kids.

This completes what I wanted to write for this episode.

I do, however, want to add a comment to fellow blogger John Holden-Galuccio.  I always find the blogs interesting and very readable.  Recently, I came across their book on my "gay shelf".  There was a mention of Jon's unfortunate experiences with the clergy and people at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Maywood.  Without elaborating, I think you would be very surprised by the current pastor in that parish.  About as much eye candy as any human being can have.... and a very nice guy. Whether he has jumped on the anti-gay marriage bandwagon, I do not know.

Until next time.... and RJ is getting ready to share the laughs of living here with you, don't buy any chocolate Easter rabbits or you will be tempted to nibble their ears off.  I speak from experience.

 

 

 


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Friday, February 10, 2012
OMG! The Issue is Birth Control!
Posted by RJ  

OMG! The Issue Is Birth Control. 

As I have written before, I am a practicing Roman Catholic.  Probably, it is more accurate to say that I am a practicing Roman Catholic gay man.  Since this church (fifty years since Blessed John XXIII convened Vatican Council II) has shown a miserable lack of scholarship, truth, leadership and LOVE I am becoming more displeased with the seeming attempt to forget that Vatican II even happened and to go back to the way things were in the days before John XXIII called for "opening the windows and letting fresh air into this church."  The "new' Church fashioned by John XXIII help a belief in the primacy of conscience. 

What, I believe, has been a massive effort to defeat the legalization of gay marriage is failing.  The National Council of Catholic Bishops, the Knights of Columbus and  Pope Benedict XVI have been shocked to see how little their money and their appeal to the people  have changed any opinions of the people in the pews each week.  In some areas, pastors were forced to read  letters from the local hierarchy opposing gay marriage.  Weekly bulletins have been stuffed with the letters and other anti-gay marriage literature.

We now have a situation which the Catholic Church, once again, cannot change.  BIRTH CONTROL.

On the issue of contraception, heterosexual Catholics have obviously made their choices.  The Church insists that practicing artificial birth control is a mortal sin and prevents people from receiving Communion. However if you attend Mass in any Catholic parish, there is a different reality.  It is extremely rare to see an adult NOT receiveCommunion.  The reason is not that they follow what the Catholic Church dictates.  They are practicing artificial birth control OR they are practicing abstinance.  If every Catholic using condoms or the birth control pill refrained from going to Communion, it would become apparent that almost no married people receive the sacrament. The truth is just the opposite.  In the same church which prohibits the use of condoms by gay men to prevent HIV infections!  It is Condom-Phobia.

You are invited to discuss this situation with friends and relatives, Any reactions you send will be shared in this blog.

Peace!

RJ


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Sunday, January 29, 2012
"Outed" at 65
Posted by RJ  

"Outing" at 65!  I had really started to feel content and "in control" of my life when I came out to my family and close friends  in 1979. (Now please spare me the remarks about you not having been born yet, etc.)  My latest ambush on the sexual orientation front happened this month and came to a head today.

When I moved to God's Waiting Room here, I saw no reason to self-identify.  There are plenty of people here who are widowers or widows, not to mention various couples shacking up together.  I felt it to be a non-issue.  I could have other dudes visit me and call them "nephews" if anyone happened to mention it.  All in all, they know me as the nice gentleman who tries to be friendly with everyone, who will drive an elderly lady to buy groceries, pick up a prescription, and often just to sit down and listen to some difficult memory or situation faced by other tenants. (taking a moment to blush).  I am active in almost all of the activities happening here, and I go the extra mile with some of the other residents when they need it.  Part of this arises from the fact that I was caregiver for my parents far into their 80's.

Today, I was casually talking to a great lady here, and she warned me not to tell anyone anything I didn't wish to be public knowledge. It seems that I made a very selective "coming out" confession to one woman who had shared some fairly hair-raising stories of her own life. When I realized that this individual had spilled the beans over a month ago, I felt relieved-- also angry. 

What occurs to me is that we have so many people claiming that conditions for gays and lesbians have improved, that prejudice is a thing of the past, that we've never had it so good.  That all depends on numerous variables.

I just know that this revelation which has made its way around the building has me striving (as of now) to be "The Best Little Boy in the World."  This was a book by John Reid which really defined how I was living.  Pick up a copy at the library or find it on Amazon.  Most of you, I assure you, will identify.

Peace!

 

 

 

 


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Thursday, January 19, 2012
A New Perspective from Two Twinks
Posted by RJ  

A New Perspective from Two Twinks:   I want to share one of those "aha" moments I received from two Twinks who were merely seated next to me in the food court of one of our major Central Jersey shopping malls.

I spotted these guys who were frankly  great eye candy, and from the moment I laid eyes on them, I did not need my gaydar to go off.  Instantly, I knew they were family.  This may be politically incorrect, but they looked, acted, spoke and camped it up like only a gay dude can do, but usually it's not while eating lunch at the mall.  I wasn't eavesdropping, but I heard everything they said, and it was apparent to me that they were performing for anyone who was within listening distance. 

The performance started like this:  Twink 1 says to Twink 2: "Girlfriend ,you are one flaming queer boy today."  Twink 2 makes a remark about his friend's oral abilities with sex.  His reply was "What kind of faggot would I be if I didn't master that skill?"  Things got more graphic and the "f" bomb was dropped numerous times and out of any logical meaning to the word.  Then they started feeding each other bite size pieces of their lunch selections. Predictably, they exclaimed "fabulous" with each shared morsel.

I was fascinated by the Two Twinks and I admit that I stared at them for a long while.  Suddenly, Twink 1 looks at me and says "Why don't you take a picture, Grandpa, it will last longer."  Twink 2 inferred I was a chicken hawk.  They both asked me if I had a problem with out gay men.  I know I surprised them when I said I had no problem because I am one!  I also informed them that I have underwear older than they are.  They asked me to sit at their table, so I moved my Happy Meal over and we introduced ourselves.  Twink 2 told me that he thought I was a heterosexual man disapporving of their right to be out and loud and proud.  Twink 1 agreed.  I explained to them that I was taken aback by their use of words that my generation most often tried to stop people from using.  We didn't find being called a "queer" to be a friendly greeting. "Faggot" and "Co342ucker" also did not rank high on the list of friendly things we wanted to be called.  They said that as with any vulgar word, it loses its impact over time and we hear it used less and less. To make their point,they used the "N" word which seems to have lost power in the African-American culture. They both said that I had succeeded in doing what they want to accomplish-- defusing the hurtful impact of these names.  It is true that even the most caustic appelation loses a great deal of power once the word is removed from the list of words that are able to fully  hurt and shock us.   Speaking to them (and listening to them)  in quiet and measured sentences, I understood that they were using the staging at the food court to defuse words that hurt them when they were much younger.  They were now showing the world that the LGBT community is getting over feeling oppressed by these barbs.

They sprung for a latte, and we talked for almost an hour.  I was impressed by the change in demeanor and the sudden respect I was given for involvement in PFLAG , the NAMES Project,and any number of gay support and advocacy groups over the years.  These two young gentlemen suddenly came across to me as a hopeful sign for the future.  It was a very teachable moment in their lives and in mine.  [Yes, we did exchange phone numbers and I would like to connect with them on various levels in the coming months.  Don't get any wrong ideas here-- one of those levels could possibly cause heart problems and a serious hospitalization --so it's only wishful thinking. 

I did ask if there is still any word used by others in society which truly angers them.  They both said that being called "homosexuals" still makes them feel like some animal species not yet analyzed but given a sick and unacceptable view by society.  Personally, this is one term I myself detest.  It might have had its place before 1972 when the American Psychological Society & the American Psychiatric Association stated that we are not ever to have ourselves classified  with a mental condition in such unfounded clinical terms.

These days, I'm beginning to see that just about everything happens for a reason.  This chance encounter with the two very attractive young gay gentlemen certainly broadened my horizons. 

When I looked at the card on which the Twinks wrote their phone numbers, they listed them as "Your new friends, the Fruitcakes." 

And the world wonders why I need medications!   I'm living experiences I find hard to believe are happening-- but I also KNOW that one cannot make up some of the things we experience today. 

As a final note to this incident, as we hugged goodbye, Twink 2 asked if the pope ever uses the word "gay."   I need to try to research that, but I frankly don't give a damn.  Somebody up there  in the papal offices must have let on that "homosexual" is the word which would rattle the most cages of  most gay people  and make them feel more alienated and unwelcome.  Thus, it is probably used most often.

 

Any replies or reactions to this blog are appreciated.  I'm not too concerned whether you love me or hate me, but I wish you would let me know that I'm not typing out words that reach no one. 

 

 

 


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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Taking Care of Our Own LGBTI Youth
Posted by RJ  

The holiday season is in full swing, and I'm sure you have all received many appeals from charities of every type.

Recently, there was a surprise (to me) revelation about the specific homophobia of the Salvation Army.  I have seen firsthand their help to the victims of all the floods in Bound Brook and Manville in recent years, and I was impressed.  I know that they never asked about anyone's sexual orientation, and their help was greatly appreciated.  As I have read the Salvation Army's official stand on homosexuality, I am feeling very much at ease ignoring the red kettles which appear at almost ever major store and shopping mall.  Recently, I was made aware of a charity which helps OUR OWN LGBTI YOUTH. It is really about time that we set aside a donation for these (our own ) people who are having a very bad time of it.

The Ali Fortney Center in Manhattan serves GLBTI teenagers who have come out and then been thrown out of their homes at ages as young as 13.  The startling fact is that 40 percent of our own youth are homeless in Manhattan.  They often resort of selling themselves in the human trafficking menace of prostitution.  Some become the victims of pimps.  Many turn to drugs.  The charity is named after Ali Fortney who was homeless on the streets of New York from the age of 13 until his death at age 22.  He advocated for homeless young people and he was committed to HIV awareness and prevention.  He aggressively demanded a police response to the killing of two of his friends. Ali Forney was murdered in Harlem, and the murderer(s) have never been found.

If you want to help these young people, especially at a time when there are more festivities snd we may feel more generous, your donation to this charity will work wonders.  It would help to make a better holiday for these kids and improve their lives far past the holidays. Your money will also help to provide emergency housing, transitional housing while they acquire vocational skills.  Most importantly, it gives these young people counseling and a structured approach to grow into proud, healthy and thriving men and women.  They suddenly have a safe haven where they never had this before.

Do what your heart and your wallet dictate, but try to help out.  Many of us in the LGBTI community think they have no children.  THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN, and helping them is a priority.

Please send what you can to:The Ali Forney Center, 224 West 35th Street, Suite 1102, NY, NY 10001

On a more personal note, I wish all of our readers a great holiday and a better year in 2012.

Peace, Shalom!

RJ                                             

 


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Saturday, December 3, 2011
AIDS IS FAR FROM OVER!
Posted by rj  

It is two days since WORLD AIDS DAY on December 1st and I believe the media has done very little to emphasize that HIV/AIDS is still a major epidemic  among gay men in this country.  It has been important to point out the tragic circumstances of people with AIDS in our Third World countries.  Their situations are extremely sad and need as much help as we can possibly manage to give.  The mere image of babies born with AIDS whose parents have died of the disease is horrendous.  At the same time, I believe we must lobby for the best care and help with the high cost of medications.  {In NJ, there is a very liberal state program to pay for an AIDS patient's medications-- in fact, all medications.  It's called ADDP/ and ADAP.  Hit me back for some information about this program.

Having typed that statement of fact, I feel this blog needs to be addressed to the young gay men in NJ who seem to have grown up oblivious to the reality of AIDS.  I often have a chance to speak with these guys who don't quite "get it" that HIV/AIDS needs to be a paramount consideration in how they live, love and trick. 

The story goes like this:  AIDS first appeared on the scene in the early 80's as doctors documented the death of gay men from a disease they found hard to diagnose, much less treat.  As the decade continued, more and more gay men were dying and there was little understanding of how AIDS could be slowed down in a person's body.  The experimental drugs that  were prescribed were almost useless.  During this time many of us were caring for our sick friends and ultimately attending their funerals on a regular basis.  It was also the beginning of the NAMES PROJECT/AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT for which we made memorial panels for those we lost.  In approximately 1995, the Quilt was displayed on the Great Mall in Washington, D.C. with the realization that the fatalities had become so enormous that this was the last time the QUILT could be displayed in its entirety in one place.  It was at just about this time that the medical community developed new medications (anti-reterovirals) which showed promise of slowing down HIV/AIDS.  The "cocktail"  was often a mixture of different meds (often more than a dozen pills) which needed to be taken at specific times of the day and night.  Adherence to the prescribed meds was difficult, if not impossible for many.

     It was in approximately 2000 that the meds were improved (often to one or two pills a day) and adherence improved and more men and women lived more normal lives if they had no side effects from the drugs.  It was also at this time that  some people would go for an anonymous HIV test and never call back using the code they were given to track their results.

I began this blog by criticizing the media, but I am happy to have witnessed good television coverage by both Ellen Degeneres and Wendy Williams.

So this brings us to 2011, and HIV/AIDS rates are increasing especially among the African-American community.  The number of gay men being diagnosed is also on the rise.  I will now share with you some of the thoughts and observations of the young men I've spoken to.  Here goes...............

"Condoms reduce my pleasure and aren't necessary anyway."

"In the porn flicks there's lots of bareback sex. "

"I'm a top so I can't get infected."

"Why bother with safe sex? Sooner or later everyone gets HIV anyway."

"The pope doesn't approve of using condoms."  OMG! The dude actually told me that!

"I am ashamed to buy condoms at the pharmacy."

I suggest that we all grow up a little and consider the outcome of our sexual conduct.  This doesn't mean becoming a hermit or developing a mental state of AFFRAIDS.  Find out what's safe(r) including what the lowest to the highest risks of AIDS happens to be. You just might be surprised by the answers.

 

 

For anonymous questions about AIDS, you can call  1-800-232-4636.

 

 

 


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Sunday, November 27, 2011
Something to Ponder
Posted by RJ  

I certainly hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, survived the relatives, ate until you were uber full, made it to Wal-Mart with pepper spray in hand.  Almost forgot, did you say grace before dinner-- all pretending that they do this at every meal all year long?

This weekend I met a very handsome young man.  My gaydar was going crazy but I knew very well that he is straight.  Just to make conversation, I asked him if he planned on having any children.  "Absolutely not" was the reply. "I don't believe in brining children into a word as screwed up as ours is."  He surprised me, but he made me think a little.   Being gay, people often assume that we will not have children, and the adoptions which take place are so few that we can't contradict the childless notion.  Yes, I know there are exceptions-- and they are just that-- exceptions.

What kind of a world would we be giving to our children?

Issues to ponder:

With today's scientific and technological advances, does anyone feel comfortable that we will advance more?  Does anyone think we have gone as far as possible?  What is our next frontier?

Even when we celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving, are we aware of the millions of people starving to death and dying of disease all over the world, and in our own United States?  We all know about food banks, but when do we donate to them?

Do we honestly believe that our political system will create change for the better amidst the partisanship and dirty politics we are subjected to daily?

Do we have some delerious illusion that this counry is not in a deep resession?

Do we ever think we just maybe should be supporting the basic goals of the OCCUPY WALL STREET folks?  They have tried to point to the greed which permeates this nation, and it would be difficult to deny it exists.

The constant threats of nuclear attack and terroristic plots are things we think about each day.

I am kind of hoping that this particular blog acts as a catalyst to motivate some of our readers to comment or contradict what I have written. 

We are counting on you to make this blog come alive.  Open dialogue always beats a monologue. 

Well, it's time to take my new anti-depressant written by my third world psychiatrist during our five minute session two weeks ago.  Oh my, does it really show that I need to?


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Not the right time to come out!+-
Posted by RJ  

As the various holidays descend upon us, it occurs to some gay and lesbian people that  it would be the ideal time to come out.  I am not an expert on this subject, but I can tell you what a thirty year affiliation with PFLAG (and now the voice of the helpline  #908-300-4227) have taught me.  There is no perfect time to come out, but there are times when it's an unusally wrong moment in time. 

Thanksgiving would seem ideal because you have many of the relatives in one place at the dinner table, after becoming almost drunk, and chances are you will be returning to school or a residence out of town.  In my opinion, it would be wiser to come out to your parents in a quiet atmosphere (and that may mean coming out to only one of them),  The comedian Bob Smith explained that he decided to use the holiday time to make the big announcement.  At the Thanksgiving dinner table, he asked his mother to please pass the stuffing to a homosexual.  His mother immediately handed it to his father! 

The considerations each of us must make are:

Does one parent seem more likely to be accepting than the other?

Are you truly sure you are gay and not bisexual?  Friends of mine used the bisexual admission technique.  When they observed that it had not killed their parents, they then decided to say that they were mistaken and are gay.

Try to come out when you are over some of your own doubts about wanting to be out.  Not every gay person makes the choice to come out during some kind of a time table.  And some never come out.

Are you depending upon your parents for tuition money on into post graduate school?  If those same parents are Southern Baptists, it would be wise to wait.

Grandma's funeral is also a truly stinking time.  Some dudes have told me that the family was so upset and "numb" that it would seem to be a good time to come out-- you know,  at the funeral home while they are upset already.

If your parents have finally filed for divorce, this would be another time to dummy up!

Don't count on doing it at a joyful event either. At your nephew's Bar Mitzvah  it  would be taking the focus from your nephew.  Now, if your nephew were to come out at his own Bar Mitzvah, the dunamics would change.  However some relatives would assume that you made him gay!

And if you have just broken up a kind of hostile relationship with your boyfriend and you have a  very sour personal view of the entire gay world, it's best to wait.

I also know a man who felt compelled to make the announcement to his father while he and his father were driving, so he told dad just after paid te toll near Asbury Park.on the Graden State Parkway.  He must have figured that Asbury Park was the closest thing we have to Provincetown or Greenwich Village.  Coming out to anyone who is driving a car is not generallly considered safe.

I had the "unique" idea of writing a very long personal coming out story which I could let my parents read and savor when I was not around.  I enrolled in a very gay-friendly writers' workshop at school.  The instructor very matter-of-factly said that gay people ALWAYS make their first attempt at writing by telling thier coming out stories.  At the time, I felt deflated.  Now, I know that it shows we would be writing about the most significant  revelation many of us would ever make in our lives.

I will pass on a few reactions my, now deceased) mother made when I came out. 

       As I recall Mom said:

                        "Why is this not a surprise to me?"

                        "Does this mean you will no longer take me to the theater in New York?"

                         "When you were an altar boy, did any of those priests engage in any monkey business with you?"

                         " If you are happy, I am happy and I will do everything to understand more."

                          And from there, she was one of the founders of PFLAG of Northern NJ, and remained a member until her passing last year.

Only you know your family dynamics and dysfunctional interactions.  Make sure you are ready to stand on your own two feet and also answer the hundreds of questions which will undoubtedly arise from then on.  I just suggest that you not engage in a discussion of what gay and lesbian people do in bed.  They already know!

  If you need some reinforcement during the holidays, I'm usually available at the helpline number or  I call back within a day.       

 

 


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Thursday, November 3, 2011
Death Always Stares Us Down
Posted by RJ  

The subject of death is not something our society likes to hear about, read about or talk about.  Yet, death enters our lives as the great thief in the night, and we are left to deal with feelings we may not have realized could run so deep.  I experienced this about twenty months ago when both of my parents died within less than two months of each other.  The entire wake and funeral process was surreal because people tend to come to funeral homes and pay very little attention to the deceased.  It just seems to become a reunion of friends-- the survivors. 

When my parents passed on, my pastor (who had recently lost his own mother) was loving and compassionate. But he said one thing which didn't help me much at the time-- "Things don't get better."  I wish I could recall if he added some words like "right away" or "for a long time,"  but I recall no such qualifiers.  However, he was right.  I believe that C.S. Lewis put a handle on it when he wrote. "No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear."  I will just add to that a paragraph just printed in a religious magazine, The Liguorian:

          It is a frightening turn in life when someone we love is no longer present.  When a person with whom we shared a significant loving relationship  dies, we miss the security that person gave us-- whether as a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend-- and we miss his or her love.  We try to cope and go on , but it can be overwhelming.  We can feel stuck, rooted in the time and place when everything was altered so quickly.

The purpose of this posting is not to be morbid or sad, but it reflects a reality we all live with, in one degree or another, daily.  In the senior independent living complex where I now live (and am the youngest person there) I see many healthy and active people, and I also see some who are very close to death from illness or merely very advanced age. 

A very unpleasant reality is that many of the families of these residents rarely, if ever, visit.  Friends and neighbors don't appear to be visiting. Their excuses are usually that they get depressed seeing a loved one in frail health. 

Is there someone in your family, or an elderly friend, who could have a brighter day if you visited or even sent a card/note?

For their sake, and yours, think about reaching out where you KNOW it is needed.

 

 

 

 


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Friday, October 21, 2011
Bullying/Suicides...... Don't Shut Up!
Posted by RJ  

For some reason I have hesitated to blog about the continued bullying in our schools and the suicides of so many of our children.  I suspect that I was a little ahead of  The Advocate's current article suggesting that so much media attention to the suicides of gay youth may actually contribute to it.  In other words, the victimized teenagers suddenly consider the "solution" of suicide because they're seeing it played up in the media.  I have spoken to more than a few teenage boys who have experienced bullying, and I was able to get their candid feelings.  Not all of the boys were gay.  One had red hair!  The red haired boy gave me the best background for what I am writing now.

I believe it goes without saying that we don't generally consider that a boy with red hair is going to be the object of bullying.  But talking to Red, I learned that he had been given a rough time all through grammar school and high school.  I've also learned that this is one of the physical characteristics which will incite bullying-- along with height, weight, skin color, ethnicity.  Now, Red explained very carefully that he was picked on and ridiculed, but that it never approximated the abuse that the gay (or perceived gay) boys endured most often with teachers and school administrators looking the other way.  Of course, the physical education teachers seemed to be the ringleaders for most of it.

Even a subject of this magnitude can bring up unbelievable facts.  Your blogger, RJ, attended Catholic schools for twelve years and was never bulleyed. Looking back, I cannot understand how that happened.  I was the sixth grader who told all the other kids on the schoolbus to keep quiet so that Sister didn't get a bad report from the driver.  I was the seventh grader who hiked the football to thr wrong team, causing total chaos and convulsive laughters from all the other boys.  I was also the eighth grader who hit a home run (no one was more amazed that I) and then argued with the Christian Brother that I didn't see why I had to run around to all the bases if the ball was already over the fence in the woods.  I happened to have been madly in love with him at the tme, but he told me that I had better move my ass around those bases or he would be behind me kicking me every step of the way.

Bullying, in some form or other, continues to rear its ugly head.  We still have young people who slowly but surely begin to believe that they are worthless and evil-- better off dead.  The major point in case now is Viki Knox and her husband and her pastor approving Ms.Knox's alleged Facebook statements against the celebration of GLBT History Month at Union High School.  It's a sensitive issue of free speech being sanctioned by Ms. Knox to express her view that people who are GLBT are "the enemy....translated loosely as demonic and evil.  

What does this say to the gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender child living in fear of coming out?  What does it say when a church leader adds his approval to the verbal bullying of these children?  Ironically, Ms. Knox should be made aware that the free speech she demands as a right is responsible for what's on  many websites attacking Ms. Knox and those of her racial background.  White supremist groups are still operating with their freedom of speech.

Have you readers heard any sermons/homilies against bullying and against gay-related hatred?  I hope you have, but I fear that many have not  because our churches have often become the boiling pots for the hatred. Genuinely stupid people believe that they are acting in the name of God.   Oh, it's based on ignorance, but that doesn't change the wrong messages or the silence attributed to the bible AND THE SUFFERING AND DEATH CAUSED BY THE RHETORIC.

If you would like to attend an afternoon video and discussion against bullying, you are invited to Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in South Plainfield on November 6th at 3 pm.  Thanks to the leadership and caring of Father John Alvarado and Sister Kathleen Rooney, this event will come to fruition.  All are welcome.

If your church, temple or school is planning anything similar, write to us here at NJGayLife and share the news.  But, by no means keep your mouths shut when we still have this menacing problem which can be attacked with words!  This is not the time for silence when our youth is at such high risk.

 


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Monday, October 10, 2011
Yes, Jesus May Well Have Been Gay!
Posted by RJ  

It has always been apparent to me that Michael Moore takes on the giant corporations and the government leaders to make some very valid observations.  His latest controvery came when Moore said that Jesus may very well have been gay.  I don't know the specifics on how much depth went into his assertion, but I must first admit to the fact that your blogger (RJ) had similar very respectful and sincere conclusions on this very question while being taught by the Christian Brothers in eighth grade.  I was inquisitive to the extent that I gave the brothers migraines.  I recall that my homosexual brain was operating at full speed ahead, but I was smart enough to frame my questions in a subdued and non-gay manner. 

No matter what the "holy" pictures show, I don't believe that Jesus was an easy child to raise.  On one occasion he disappeared from sight, making Mary and Joseph frantic.  When he was located he was in the temple teaching the religious leaders of his day.  Then we recall that his mom, Blessed Mary Ever Virgin, asked Jesus to save a marriage feast by turning water into wine.  Jesus was annoyed that he was even asked to do this, but he finally agreed because he had reached the time in his life when he knew how much guilt a mother of any religious persuasion could generate if necessary.  He relented and peformed the miracle which resulted in a quality of wine which was far from Ripple and Thunderbird  The people needed really vintage wine for weddings and holydays, and that's what Jesus gave back to them in the jugs which formerly held only water.  It was early in his life that Jesus started to assert his independence.  Often he must have been late for dinner or stayed out past his curfew.  Since the bible is incredibly silent about what Jesus was doing from the ages of about 14 to 30, one can only assume that he was out raising some Cain with his friends.  How many times they grabbed a spare donkey and went to the clubs in the city has been pondered by theologians for centuries.  The assumption would be that he hung around with his buddies because if it were different, he might have been lusting in his heart about all the girls carrying water jugs on their heads.  So, Jesus probably stayed with his buds and worked out at the gym, smoked a few Camels and used his testosterone overload to quite possibly mess around with some of the other hot dudes in his crowd.  He must have listened to hundreds of those conquest accounts from his buddies.  Then, just as now, in the beginning the stories are fabricated ...and eventually BROMANCES must have developed  with other boys, but this is not recorded.  Nor is anything mentioned about dating girls.  Go figure!  In the 21st Century the faith tradition leaders infrequently and even more ignorantly speak about pre-marital sex, masturbation, homosexuality and the like.  The problem is that there is very little ammunition to back up the "Thou shalt not" preachers of today.  We just don't know if Jesus dated or if he was gay, etc.  As a heterosexual or as a homosexual Jesus would have had plenty of time to expermiment and party.  Since we know that Jesus had connections, we also can understand why his adolesence and young adulthood are just not to be found in the bible.  No matter how Jesus lived and related during those years, someone must have simply erased the scripture references.

All of the above is an assumption which makes good sense.  The analysis here is caused by the absolute shock and disgust and chaos Michael Moore caused by inferring that Jesus may have been gay.  The homophobia of straight people, especially in our fundamentalist sects, is starkly  obvious in the news reports on Michael Moore's revelation.  Some people will not discuss the sexuality of Jesus.  They don't believe it is proper to consider the physical nature of this child born in a cave and crucified for claiming to be the Son of God.  The scenario is full of questions one cannot answer.  As Sister used to insist--  "It's a mystery."  HOWEVER when a logical thinker starts to even touch the possibility of Jesus being gay, the crowds react worse than when someone stole their village mule.  To their way of thinking, it's just not possible bcause it's against nature, intrinsically disordered and just plain wrong. 

What occurs when anyone suggests to a gay person that Jesus may well have been gay? Some laugh but suddenly see the possibility. Other gay people often act shocked and not amused.  Their internalized homophobia suddenly kicks in and they will not entertain the thought.  It's obviously reflecting how they truly feel about themselves being made in the image and likeness of God.  Some will say that even such thinking is shameful.  I may have been ahead of the group in my childhood images of Jesus, but it never bothered me for a moment when I realized that Jesus must have had bowel movements.  I don't recall sharing this insight with anyone else.

To sum it up, if we had lived back in the day growing up with Jesus, we might have been playing primitive football with him, or we might possibly have been planning a tea party,  What we could then know was that God (or our high power) made us just as we are for reasons know only to Godself.  Gay or straight or bi-sexual or transgender or inter-sexed, we never have to stop for even a moment and believe the crap of homophobic religionists who so very often have major issues of their own to deal with.  Keeping God in a box in which every person fits identical molds of what is normal and not normal is a defilement of the gift of sex we have inherited in all of its beauty and for the infinite forms of expression God planned in bestowing on us this life-giving and unlimited and procreative and recreational gift from on high.

And to recall a newspaper cartoon I saw awhile ago.  Monks who transcribed the bible into contemporary language were aghast when they discovered the same error being made time after time.  Finally, it was revealed that the key word is CELEBRATE, NOT CELIBATE!


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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sieze the Rays of Hope
Posted by RJ  

Roman Catholics are numerically the largest religion in the United States.  Whether they are going to Mass every week is another issue.

As a Gay Roman Catholic, my life has been a balancing act.  I have tried other faith traditions and found them uncomfortable, if not lacking.  In the gay community, being Roman Catholic is often tantamount to consorting with the enemy.  I am told that many people in A.A. regularly recall the abusive behavior of the nuns and brothers in grammar school and high school. [I venture to say that 99% of them have passed away by now).  Other people like to call themselves "Recovering Catholics" and have the t-shirts to proclaim it to the world! 

I am about the most liberal Roman Catholic you will find.  I do not agree with some or their moral teachings (obviously totally disagree with their constant anti-gay agenda and the preoccupation with a woman's reproductive choices).  I also find that the hierarchy looks ridiculous in their official "drag" and I find that what the church considers important issues don't really mean much to the average person in the pews.  Those people, by the way, ARE the CHURCH,

In about six weeks, there will be some changes in the language of the Mass.  They are sometimes awkward phrasings of concepts which could be prayed best if left alone.  

My struggles have been arduous, and there have been times when I stopped going anywhere near a Catholic church.  There were times I was pretty much forced to attend (weddings, funerals) and I started to discover that some changes had been made.  I also noticed that there were many progressive priests-- and there were the college liturgies with guitars and communion bread which was really bread!  Just a word of warning here-- if you meet a young priest today it is not safe to assume that he is liberal.  Often it is just the opposite.

There are many issues regarding the Catholic Church that I would answer if you asked.  Hell, Jehovah's Witnesses have put a mark at my curb to warn other members of the sect to not ring the bell.  Honest to God, if you ask a question , I'll respond, and it will not necessarily be official party line from Rome. Most often, it will not be.

My purpose in broaching this topic is to inform you of a special group which may interest you.  On October 12 (and every second Wednesday of the month) THE GAY AND LESBIAN FAITH SHARING GROUP meets at the Parish Center of Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church (200 Randolph Avenue) in South Plainfield from 7:30-9 pm. The group is open to gay and lesbian adults (18 years of age and over) and their families.  The meetings include faith sharing, prayer, conversation and support.  For details, please call Father John Alvarado at (908)-756-0633, extension 125.

I've been told by both a minister and a rabbi (at entirely different times) that it is their experience that a Catholic can leave the church, but the church never leaves the Catholic.  Amidst the scandals and the very  deservedly bad public relations of the past, it is a very hopeful sign that there are still groups within this church to advocate for change.  It cannot be accomplished alone, and this is where you will meet other gay and lesbian Catholics and their families  who have a vision for the church.  You are most welcome to join us. 

And if you seriously have a question for me, feel free to respond with a comment (question/observation).

      

 

 

 


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Saturday, October 1, 2011
Some Older People Have It In Perspective
Posted by RJ  

I don't have any even remotely interesting sharings for this blog until next week, but I do want to share a profoundly moving moment  I experienced here at God's Waiting Room.  I suggest you get your tissues.

Muriel and Fred had been married for 62 years when Fred became critically ill and needed hospice care.  Muriel asked for a few moments of very private time with Fred  as his condition worsened.  Muriel held his hand and  Fred told her that he recalled how they were high school sweethearts and had both been suspended by the school.  And he recalled how they married very young and Muriel had two miscarriages.  Then Fred told Muriel that she stood right beside him when he lost his job and went on public assistance.  He reminded Muriel  of how she ran the small family business when he was having back surgery, and after that how she was right with him in bankruptcy court for support.  Finally, looking into Muriel's eyes one last time, Fred just said "Muriel, all in all you have been very bad luck for me."

Gottcha!

 


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Friday, September 23, 2011
Young Gay Youth at Seemingly Different Ends of the Spectrum
Posted by RJ  

This past week in God's Waiting Room has been interesting, frustrating and challenging-- and all of these feelings and reactions have been caused by two gay boys, both under 21 years of age.  In both instances, I had been asked by their great-grandmothers to speak to the boys.  One's father was deceased and the other boy's parents were divorced.  In both instances, the wise great-grandmothers realized that their offspring did not have a male (much less a gay male) to ask questions and to help them make certain that important decisions regarding sex and relationships, etc.

For the sake of clarity, I'll fabricate their names as Justin and Mark.

Mark is a student at Rutgers and is uber-handsome, self-assured and mature. Justin is a sophomore in high school and seems to be accepted by all of his friends.  He is out of the closet "to the max." 

We'll start with Justin.  When I met him, I asked him what a typical day was like for him now that school is back in session. The conversation went pretty much like this:  Well, I woke up in my gay bedroom, took a gay shower and put my fabulous gay clothes on.  Then I ate a gay breakfast and barely caught the gay school bus, but I made it.  All of my classes are so gay, but my gay English teacher and drama coach is the kind of gay man I hope I become.  When we changed classes, I spoke to some of my gay friends.  To some of the rest, I gave the gay wink, which is a communications skill I learned in kindergarten.  [I interrupted to ask if his kindergarten class was gay, and Justin told me "of course it was."]  Justin ddn't really need to explain every gay class in his gay high school that day. He did tell me that he went to a therapist who told him that he just might be a little obsessed with the gay dimensions to his life, and that it isn't the first thing a person needs or wants to discuss-- that it would come in time.  Justin changed therapists.

I asked Justin if had a serious boyfriend, and he rolled his eyes as if to say "Duuuuude, doesn't everyone?"  So I tried to steer the conversation a little and asked him about safe(r) sex.  Essentially, Justin told me that AIDS is a  now highly cureable disease of the past and that it's just not a big deal.  To this boy, I suspect that the concept of safe(r) sex means not falling out of bed or having his partner bite him! 

Justin began to show a different side of himself.  He said he is proud to be gay and wouldn't change even if it were possible.  He belongs to the drama club hoping to get the lead role in "Mame" this year.  He helped organize the school's Gay/Straight Alliance, and he's up to the minute on just about every gay issue such as: His right to join the Army, although he's not sure he wants to do that, his right to marry, his right to be treated fairly and respectfully by the faith tradition he was born into.  Justin's mother worries about him (a right of motherhood for sure) and fears he will be attacked by militant homophobes, or that he is being ridiculed and marginalized by some students and that he's not aware it's happening.  She also worries that she will have no grandchildren, and she freaks out when she contemplates coming out to Justin's relatives.  Since Justin has always had so many girlfriends his mom believes that the "gay thing" is some kind of phase and acting out-- which Justin will decide to opt out of very soon.  So, his mother worries much of the time, and Justin unintentionally giggles in response to her worries.  Justin's mom would be welcomed at a PFLAG meeting. There is no possible way to explain how much good this group has been doing on a national level for families for over forty years now.  Their number for the North Jersey chapter is 908-300-4227. 

Now, we come to Mark.  He is very comfortable in his gay skin, but he doesn't make it an issue with all but a small group of trusted students on campus.  He told me that he is concentrating on his career and that his sexuallity has nothing to do with it.  He has a social life, dating both women for fun and men for sex  He also told me that he owes nothing to the gay communty at large, nor to the younger people who would come after him. None of this was said with hostility or anger.  Mark just wanted me to understand that he never intends to march down Fifth Avenue in New York or at the pride events in Asbury Park. He also explained that joining the military was not a "right" he wanted. He smiled and told me that he didn't want to do anything which would break one of his well-manicured fingernails. I liked Mark's honestly, even if I felt he was a bit selfish and I thought to myself that he has G.O.P. branded on his forehead.  I later felt puzzled that Mark's great-grandmother and his mother were so worried about him.  He seemed to be very comfortable with his orientation and viewed his sexuality as his own personal dimension.  In essence, he felt no desire to become involved in any GLBT group or to work for equality or to tackle bullying.  He concluded by telling me that the gay community never did one thing for him.  I gently mentioned all of OUR freedom fighters we had since Stonewall, as well as before and after.  Mark didn't really care.

You have just read my impressions of two gay young men who will be inheriting, for the most part, a society won for them by countless GLBT pioneers who probably never believed we would ever arrive at the year 2011 with the advances and  the rights we now have.  By no means have we won all the battles needed for a fair and just society for LGBT people. I did not set out to judge either Justin or Mark.  The requested intent was to make sure they were okay with their lives.

I'd like to ask a small favor of our readers.  In the comment (response) part of the NJGayLife blog page, it would be very interesting to see which one of these young gentlemen would make you feel more comfortable having step up to the plate as tomorrow's leaders of the GLBT community.  A simple "Mark" or "Justin" suffices as a comment.  If you care to expound on your choice, by all means state your reasons for your choice. 

To quote some anonymous (to me) source-- WE DESERVE WHAT WE GET, AND WE GET WHAT WE DESERVE.

Thanks for reading, and an extra thanks if you share your thoughts with us, even if it's just the name of the dude you find more comfortable as a leader of tomorrow's gay community which starts today!

RJ

 

 

 


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Monday, September 19, 2011
Tyler Clementi Lives On
Posted by RJ  
This week on September 22nd we recall the passing of Tyler Clementi, the victim of bullying in its worst form.  He was denied his privacy and pushed over the edge of reason by other Rutgers students who chose to take away his dignity and freedom to sexually interact with another man.  Because he was brand new to college life and apparently out of the closet to some extent for the first time, the actions against him brought him to jump off the George Washington Bridge.  This should never happen to anyone, and Tyler's actions brought the bullying and cyber-bullying issues into the national news spotlight.  It also motivated writer, Dan Savage, to start a remarkably successful feature on You Tube called "It Gets Better."  It is a compliation of hundreds and hundreds of encouraging messages from other gay people to those on the verge of coming out and those who face bullying on a daily basis.  It also contains messages from very famous and recognizable heterosexual people who spread the same message.  No matter how long you have been out of the closet, go to this You Tube site and start listening to the messages at random.  You will need tissues!   The news reports that because of this incident, NJ Governor Chris Christie has enacted the most no-nonsense and ero tolerance anti-bullying law in the nation.  Ironically, as I write this, schools in NJ are not sure exactly how to implement the law because that part of the process has not reached them.  Let's take a few moments to remember Tyler Clementi this week-- and each time we see or read that bullying is not tolerated in the NJ school system.

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Friday, September 9, 2011
9/11 and the Gay Heroes
Posted by RJ  

9/11's Gay Heroes

I wasn't too sure I was going to write anything about the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  The media already seems surfeited with coverage, local municipalities and churches and temples are presenting special services.  When I heard a rather long tribute to Father Mychal Judge, I decided to write.  The newscaster left out one significant part of Father Mychal's being-- he was gay!!

The events of 9/11 impacted on everyone bringing us into an decade which bounces around terms like "Ground Zero" and "Terrorist Attacks" in everyday conversation.  No one needs to be especially bright to understand that approximately 10 per cent of the victims were gay men and women.  There were also two, to my knowledge, "super heroes" of 9/11 who lived and died as gay people, never hiding the fact.  Why should this significant part of who they were escape major recognition?" 

Franciscan Father Mychal Judge was already a legend in his own time.  He admitted to being gay, a recovering alcoholic and a real presence of God during the first days of the AIDS Pandemic.  Back at the time when medical personnel were afraid to touch a dying AIDS victim, Father Mychal would hug them, comfort them and bring them the gift of love and acceptance.  Since Father Mychal was also a chaplain to the NYC fire department, he also brought this kind of tangible feeling of love to the fire personnel who called on him to act as their priest-at-large for baptisms, weddings and funerals.  He was also the person many chose to help them sort out their problems and issues.  That was one side of the man.

The second side of Father Mychal Judge presents someone we can all admire for his intestinal fortitude.  For example, when he was told by Cardinal Egan that he could not march with the  Gay Irish group in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan, he obeyed.  He marched with the same group in the Brooklyn parade!  Leaving a gay AA meeting one night, he commented to a gay couple that he found it amazing that the Catholic Church thought there was so much love in the world that they could afford to frown upon the love of same gender people.  On the day of 9/11 one of the other friars at Saint Francis of Assisi Church told Mychal that there was trouble downtown and he would be needed down there.  It seemed to take him awhile to put his fireman's gear on, but it was later learned that he was blow drying his hair and spraying it!   At Ground Zero, he immediately started to minister to the people.  He prayed with them, gave them the last rites of the Catholic Church (just in case the were Catholic)  and this is how he died.  Debris from the imploded building fell and ended his life.  Firemen took his body to Saint Paul's Church and placed it on the altar.  Father Mychal Judge became officially "Victim Number 1" on that horrendous day. 

Another gay hero of 9/11 was Mark Bringham, a young man who was a passenger on Flight 93.  Bingham had received a phone message about the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, and he realized that there were terrorists piloting the plain.  Mark Bingham took the lead in getting other passengers to bust into the cockpit and take back the plane.  The plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and all on board died.  The exact destination of the downed plane was apparently the White House or the Washington Monument.

Of course, there were many gay and lesbian people who lost their partners on 9/11.  Very few, it appears, have made this public knowledge.

We must remember that as gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender people, we are a large part of society and need to make others aware of who we are. 

One of the churches, among many, which will have a dedicated service for 9/11 is Saint Bartholomew the Apostle on Westfield Avenue in Scotch Plains.  The extremely gifted homilist, Father John Paladino, will preach at all the Masses.  The Masses are Saturday evening at 5 P.M. (and a prayer service at 7 pm, after which the church is open all night for the reading of names and meditation).  Sunday Masses are at 7:30, 9, 10:30 and noon and 5 pm.   No matter how many issues we may have with the institutional church, we must learn to accept the good that is attempted and accomplished.  We owe it to ourselves to experience a Catholic parish and pastor in touch with the real world.

P.S.   I'll be at Saint Bart's at 10:30 am.... Meet you there?

MYCHAL'S PRAYER

Lord, take me where You
want me to go;
Let me meet who You
want me to meet;
Tell me what You
want me to say
and
Keep me out of Your Way.


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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Good Signs in the Gay Community
Posted by RJ  

After the week we have all survived, and the totally unpredictable damage from community to community, I didn't want to tell any of the funnier stories about living this out in God's Waiting Room.  We'll save that for another day.

Two things struck me as Hurricane Irene ravaged New Jersey.  One was a very caring letter to all our readers from our own  Bonnie Kantor.  The second was Steve Goldstein of Garden State Equality giving out his personal cell phone number so he could help storm victims find help from other members.

Long ago, I became aware that society in general thinks of the Gay Community in terms of sexual proclivity/activity....whatever.  What many of us see in our various GLBT organizations is the type of community we need to witness.  We need to look after each other at every level,  centering on coming out, breast cancer, HIV, our religious groups, emergency preparedness such as Hurricane Irene.... the list is long.  I doubt that anyone who lived through the AIDS Crisis years can ever forget the spirit of volunteerism and love which stricken gay men received from their lesbian sisters. These women nursed, cooked for, provided companionship to, and enriched the last days of these men's lives.  I have met some extremely antagonistic people in our Gay Community.  For whatever reasons they see the opposite gender as the enemy, and tensions flare.  At the times I have been able to explain the cohesion brought about by AIDS, people have looked at me in amazement.  Either they were too young to have experienced this sense of community, OR they had just forgotten. 

 

P.S.  If anyone would like a heads up on a GLBT faith sharing and community group, approved by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, hit me back and I'll prepare a blog about it.  I know that the concept seems to be an oxymoron to many, but the group is unique in our area.

 

 

to


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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Keep It to Yourself
Posted by RJ  

Do you remember your first crush?  In all probability that is a person you became totally obsessed with.  We all had first experiences which, at the time, we were sure were going to last forever.  It doesn't matter when it took place, but it formed an indelible mark on your heart (and brain). The place of the first lover is never totally removed from the psyche.  It's a memory which transcends all orientations.

I know that this is true because I've heard about it from so many others, and it has happened to me.  Back in the day, he was all I ever wanted and my world revolved around him.  I saw no impefections or I overlooked them.  Now, after six years, I try to make a conscious effort not to think of the good times we had together-- because when it was good it was great!  The issues which caused the breakup were very serious and insurmountable for us. My medicated dreams, on the other hand, include him more often than I would prefer- to admit-- and these are not sexual dreams.  In my case, it amounts to the fact that I have "tricked" with very compatible guys, but there has always been an impediment.  Why I am able to attract such hot married men puzzles even me.  The fact is that there is very little chance that I am going to win them over from their spouses.  There are always children involved, so I live in the moment and enjoy them as a gift.  I wish I had a dollar for each time I have selflessly told them to go back and  try to make their marriages work. Damned if they didn't do it!

I digressed.  But before I go on, I want to share a very old joke which may make you groan.  What does a lesbian bring on the second date?  A U-Haul.  What does a gay man bring on the second date?  What second date?   Through the years, I have dated some very compatible dudes, but there seemed to be a major turn-off common in many of them.  They dwelled on two words which really have no place being uttered on a date. Those words are MY EX.  It is very difficult to feel attracted to a date who mentions his EX in every other sentence.  In a few cases, I thought that the EX must have been the Messiah.  Going back to the "joke," many gay men don't have a second date because they focused so much on the EX that the current date felt a need to measure up.  In one such encounter, I remember thinking to myself that if the dude was so damn great why did they sell the house and move to different states!

I had a therapist tell me that I should try to rekindle a past relationship.  This shrink also tried to make me believe that I could probably have one of the married guys on a permanent basis-- that he would leave his wife and kids for me.  That was the most outrageous fairy tale I had ever heard, and I was paying him cold hard cash for this kind of deception.

Point! There had to be a point to this!

My advice to anyone venturing out again on the dating scene is to dummy up on any references to the EX.  The new date has to feel that he/she is being measured against this all-present EX who is mentioned so often.  And for the majority of us who always remember the first crush (or relationship) as being the closest thing to heaven we have ever experienced, try to remember what broke it up-- and use that knowledge and angst to make a new relationship work. 

Just in case you are like our heterosexual counterparts, when a relationship is really "so over," give yourself plenty of time to experiment and really look for Mr./Ms. Right.  And on those dates and forevermore, remove those words "My Ex" from your vocabulary.  After all, we are making the new person in your lives uncomfortable, and no one knows the total story.  Mr./Ms. Ex, after all, had a side to the demise of the relationship too.

 


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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Answer Their Questions!
Posted by RJ  

ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS!

We all know that most heterosexual people can be dense at times.  They might appear to be very accepting of us, but their questions often grate on my nerves.  Sometimes it is best to ignore the question or comment, but at other times, a response really does one's GLBT heart good.  The key is to respond in such a way that they actually laugh at themselves.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Are you sure you are gay?
     Not really.  I just make up stories like this when I'm bored.

 How did he get HIV?
     The latest thinking is that one is at highest risk by drinking out of toilet bowls.

Did you ever want to enter a really macho profession, like being a cop, fireman or construction worker?
      Yeah, but most of these professions have filled their GLBT quotas with lesbians.

You know, some of my best friends are gay.
      Really? Name fifty of them!

How do you think it would be possible to make some of our gay clergy come out of the closet?
      Refusing to date them might do the trick.

(at the hotel)   You guys want two twin beds, right?
      No, it's just for the two of us.

Well, who is the husband and who is the wife in your relationship?
     Oh, I am the husband-- and he is the husband.

When did you first realize you were gay?
     I am told that in the delivery room when the doctor slapped my ass, I kissed him.  I cannot verify this.

Aren't you afraid of violence?  I mean, I could beat you up if you annoyed me.
     And I could bitch slap you like you've never been bitch slapped before, you Neanderthal.

Be honest-- Have you ever had sex with a woman?
    You be honest-- Have you ever had sex with another man?

When you were a kid, did you have any celebrity heroes?
     Yes, Judy Garland and Wally from "Leave It To Beaver."

Aren't gay men secretly attracted to all men?
     To some fantasy extent, physically yes, at times.  In your case, the question gets a double negative.  By the way, are you
     attracted to many gay men?  I ask because your girlfriend tried to hit on me, showing that she has really good taste SOMETIMES. Why
     not ask her the same type of question!

What kind of sex do you people have?
     Essentially, the same type of sex that straight people do, but word is that we are much better at it.

You know, I'm not sure I would want a gay man teaching my son's fifth grade class. You know, wrong role models and all.
     Rest easy!  I was taught by nuns for many years, and I have never wanted to be a nun.


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Don't Be So Sure!
Posted by RJ  

Don't be so sure when you start to assume who will be in favor of gay rights and who will be against them.

An interesting discussion started here in God's Waiting Room about GLBT rights.  The social worker who led the group introduced the subject of fairness on the Internet, and she pointed out examples of so-called "Christian" networks broadcasting anti-gay music for their shows and for downloading.  Now, I was fully aware that many of these seniors had no idea what a computer looks like, but I was a little nervous about the selected topic.  I was able to break the initial silence by saying that it is hatred of this nature that can often lead to a GLBT youth's suicide. To diversify the topic, I pointed to the tragedy of anti-Semitism and the horrendous results of that hatred gone wild.

One elderly woman, whom I assumed was asleep, said that her grandson is gay and that he has a better relationship than any of his heterosexual siblings.  In some initially hushed tones, many began saying they had a gay or lesbian in the family, and that this didn't bother them at all.  For one hour, the lively discussion centered on the basic human rights of LGBT people. I listened to very accepting and loving statements couched in deeply rooted expressions and concepts like: gay preference, who's the husband and who's the wife, the issue of choice, I even noticed some tears because this was not a subject these oldsters had been encouraged to speak about in public, and probably not even within the family.

I had spent much time assuming that the older generation was going to be set in its ways and beliefs and would not accept gay people or gay rights.  I was wrong, and I am very pleased to be wrong!

It all reminds me of a statement my mom used to say (and I know she stole it from somehwere).. AS I TRAVEL THE ROAD FROM CRADLE TO TOMB, I CARE LESS AND LESS WHO SLEEPS WITH WHOM.    

Can I hear an "Amen?"  And maybe it's time to go and have that talk with Grandma and Grandpa. 

 

 


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Monday, July 18, 2011
Adjusting
Posted by RJ  

Well, RJ is still taking psychotropic meds to get adjusted to living in God's Waiting Room, but the problems have become more than I expected.  The other morning, I entered the elevator to greet a pleasant lady holding a Dunkin' Donuts bag.  I merely asked how she was doing, and she told me that she had the most fantastic bowel movement in three months the night before! She informed me that she was taking it to her doctor for him to see it.  I was holding my breath, and the lobby door opened.  I wouldn't have known a diplomatic way to tell her that I believed her and did not need to take a look.

Some of the problems I never expected to encounter are homophobia... and the far right mentality.  We were discussing current events in a group setting, and the remarks about President Obama pandering to the "homos" and the minorities was getting under my skin.  Much as I have been "out" for many years, I am reluctant to be too aggressively gay among people with very impaired hearing and very prejudiced opinions. I even had a dream about coming out to them, and it centered on Ellen Degeneres coming out on her show-- into the open microphone!  I fear that's how it would occur.  I did just put out a feeler by asking if any of these oldsters had a gay or lesbian grandchild.  Of course, they don't!  They would have been told about it and the child would have been "corrected."

During a very hectic debate between two women who looked as though they might have cleared Ellis Island together, the subject changed to how society is being destroyed because there are no "family values."  Buzz word of the decade-- and I could only really ask why they felt this way.  Why, it's because Ricky Martin "decided" to be gay.

When we think of our older years, if we really ever have, we probably never thought that being authentic gay human beings would be a problem.  It happens to the gay widow or widower.  It happens to the single gay person.  You suddenly are a minority again, amongst people you will not likely educate.  I do my small part by putting some gay-themed non-fiction and fiction books in the library.  I'm saving the rainbow tee-shirts, etc. for later.

I was going crazy mad last week and drove to New Hope.  Not the way I remembered it, but a nice drive.  I felt that there would be a button just for me in the novelty store. I didn't look long.  Right near the famous (and apparently resurrected Bonomo's Turkish Taffy) was MY VERY OWN button.  All it says is "If these are my golden years, I am sooo screwed."  I bought a dozen to pass out to friends who think they will never get older.

Let's see.... I've tried Prozac, Cymbalta, Pristiq, Zoloft and 87 other anti-depressants.  I wonder what he will give me tomorrow.  I want to take whatever that cute preppy drug detail man was pushing last time I was there.  He was an absolute Adonis, and, because if him, my blood pressure (nothing else) was up, adding another pill to the shopping cart.

If you remember nothing else from this blog, just think of me whenever you see a Dunkin Donuts bag!


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Reality Dating Service
Posted by RJ  

Despite what some very sweet PFLAG mothers (and others) would like you to believe, not every gay man arrives in his golden years, living in God's Waiting Room happily- partnered for forty-three years, with three adopted children from third world nations.  Nor does he, in very many instances, have a stellar pension and a mansion in suburbia and a summer villa.

When one finds himself in this type of situation, lacking all of the expected, promised and hoped for percs, an option is to join a GLBT dating service.  Rather than (initially) do a boring description of myself, let me share with you the way I completed the form of a now defunct gay dating service.

1.  What is your screen name?   Stallion

2.  How young are you?   Well, my sister was a waitress at the Last Supper, so you do the math.

3.  What age men would you like to date?   I truly prefer 18-22, and I ask for great looks, toned body and a little dull in the I.Q. department, if you get my drift.

4.  Are you attractive?  That is truly in the eyes of the beholder.  However my cousin told me that I was such an ugly baby that my mother needed to be drunk to breast feed me.

5.  What about your father?  Oh, no! He didn't breast feed me.

6.  Who is your favorite gay celebrity.  I wote Prince Harry, and they called me stupid... online stupid!  It was wishful thinking.

7.  What kind of music do you like?  Very fast paced music, like my favorite songs are "Kumbuya" and "When the Moon Came Over the Mountain" by Kate Smith. Those 78's never wear out.

8.  Where do you generally go to meet other single men of your vintage?   The cardiologist's office is pretty active, but the urologist's waiting room tops the list.

9.  How old were you when you came out?  I "came out" as in being born at age 0.  I came out to the world three minutes later when the doctor spanked my backside and I kissed him.  Don't tell anyone!

10.  Tell us more about yourself.

          Well, I am a real dude who lives his life on his own terms with the help of psychotropic meds from my shrink. I delight in the simple pleasures of life, like finding my dentures in the bathroom or discovering that I have forgotten where I hid my extra four Viagra tablets. This latter incident makes me clean the apartment and hunt everywhere until I find the little devils.

          Material things do not mean much to me, but as with any gay man, I am brand loyal.  For me, that means nothing but Timex, Wal-Mart, Trojan and Burger-King.

           My life has been very varied, and there is much I could share with a gay twink.  In my younger years, I was a Freedom Rider, a U.S. Marine, a Stonewall protestor, and I played the guitar for one of the first folk Masses ever held in a Catholic church.

            When we get to know each other better, I can share about what I was doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and other fun topics.

            Almost forgot-- I don't smoke and drink only socially.  And I drive an Oldsmobile. Couldn't ya just die!!!

 

So, now that you know all the answers to the dating line questions, you know all about RJ.  Let the dates begin!


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