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- Gay Activism and Iran: Do Western Activists Do More Harm Than Good? (Link to article by Scott Long)
- Emigrant: The Other White Meat?
- Obama Loves Queers! (Except Not)
- Hot (the bad kind) in the Mission
- HuffPost Gay Voices: Liberian Anti-Gay Group Issues Hit List, Governments Do Nothing
- Exotic, Fresh, and Fruity: Seen at the Asian Market
- Deadly Beauties
- More boy love/lust graffiti in SF
- “I WHAT Cock?” – Construction Sign Self-Expression
- Attempted Gay (Fake) Weddings: Valentine’s Day news from China
- San Francisco Leather Marshal elected at new SF Eagle!
- What? All Jobsites Should be…
- Tiny Town Queen Patty McGroin is Empress of San Francisco!
- Why the Pope REALLY resigned…really!
- Phabulous Phallic Cactus…really.
- What to Do When Your Car Conks Out…
- Pig! (you are what you eat)
- Happy Lunar New Year, Snakeboy!
- K9 Warning! Sight seen in Mendocino County.
- Love beats H8: “Marry Me, Man!” – Phelps family horrified, natch…
Tag Archives: Spirituality
Freud quipped that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but of course he knew better. Last year’s seeds are now in a tube from last year’s smoke. This summer, they’ll be this summer’s sunflowers. Next winter, last year’s seed again…and so it flows.
Pagan image via The Green Man’s Grove. Winter is arrived in the northern hemisphere, the longest night of the year is just passed, and the days will grow long again.
Friend of this site Richard Bolingbroke has launched a new website. Bolingbroke says of his series Art is a Four Letter Word: “Words and images are the two main ways we communicate and understand the world around us. In these paintings I explore the interplay of words and images in an effort to understand both the innate tension that exists between these two methods of defining and recording ideas, and the bond that they can create with intellect and sensation.” His new site is live, here. Enjoy!
Sand…those little rocks on the beach. Sand…in the 19th century, it was just one more slang term for testicular fortitude. Because you can never have too many ways to say it! Rocks, gravel, sand, guts, nuts…he’s got some set of balls on him! But back in the day, they used to say: “He’s got sand!”
Gary Greenberg, a biomedical researcher from University College London, has recently published A Grain of Sand, a book of close-up photographs of sand. He sees the big picture in the little picture. He’s not the only one. Way back in the 18th century, proto-homosexual poet William Blake wrote:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
Old Leather; New Gear. Same fucking twisted kinky throbbing bobbing dripping ass-kicking mind-bending challenging pervert stuff as always. Of course. Style changes but stiff pricks and throbbing balls always rise to the particular season’s occasion. It’s about what got us hot and hard when we were young, and what does it now. N’est pas? See-see bone! Leather? Kevlar? Rope? Metal? Crazy new materials fresh out of R/D labs? All the wonders of modern technology? Or go way old school: kidnap a willing victim to the woods for some paleo-punk action in private. Way past medieval. Lots of room to get lost. Or…show off under the spotlight. Or…or…or. Sure. Why not? If it gets you hard and he’s game, have at it! Do the hokey-pokey. Because that really is what it’s all about…
Gear Up! is a Mens weekend party/run happening this weekend at Saratoga Springs. (The Cali Stagecoach Stop not the NY Resort!) This is the run’s first year and it is “geared” towards the younger set, to the post AIDS-crisis generation of men who lost most of the Men who would have been their generational elders and mentors – had more survived. Thankfully, some did! So…it’s a mixer. As the GearUp guys say: “amid open playspaces and numerous educational workshops, GearUp brings together the open-minded beginner with the trustworthy player.” Sounds like a plan! For more information on GearUp click here. More on Saratoga Springs here. Plus…if you are at the run and want a cool opportunity for a little silence and solitude in the midst of so damned much hotness, check out the Nishikigoi (Koi) Pond, here. Oh, oh oh, ommmm….!
All that hard play can be hard work, and the deeper it gets, the realer it becomes. From degradation to grace and back again, turning forever on itself like a mobius strip. Beat, Beat-Up, Beatitude: words to fly by from the jam-sweet lips of angel-headed hipsters. Top or bottom, sometimes retreat is a good option. For those times, just outside the dungeon (aka The Heart Lodge) mildly hidden in the landscaping, a small magical nishikigoi (koi) pond waits. A rock ledge provides enough room for a semi-lotus, and a fine venue for adventures in ego dissolution. Flash of Orange. Take me…OM…country roads…splash sky water…gone.
But does it? Well-known Leatherman and friend of this site Peter Fiske has made an “It Gets Better” video and posted it on YouTube. We are, of course, re-posting. Kudos, Peter! It is fantastic. Of course. Messages of future promise are great, and can be just the thing to turn despair into hope. But. But. But. The “It Gets Better” video pep talks, started by columnist Dan Savage last year in an effort to curb high rates of suicide among queer youth, have really taken off. Cool. More on them here. Great campaign, but…it is not enough. Not nearly.
By all means, keep these positive messages coming. But. But. But. There are a few problems here. First off, it does not always get better – and we know that. If it always got better, dead friend of this site and Frameline co-founder Mark Finch would not have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. A popular, successful adult gay man kills himself. Or: youthful co-conspirator WRG, handsome, smart, set to inherit two fortunes, dead in a hotel room in Rio with a spike in his arm, the body stripped of valuables. They had to identify him by dental records. Just two examples. It did not get better for either of them, and they were pretty well set to overcome the past.
But. But. But. Another problem: The most vulnerable queer kids may be those least likely to be able to respond to these messages. Consider two scenarios:
One: You are 17, a junior in high school, with loving, educated PFLAG parents, a nice group of theatre friends, early acceptance to UC, and a problem with the school bully who taunts you with calls of “Faggot!” and elbows you in the hallways to the amusement of his toadies. It makes your stomach churn.
Two: You are 17, living on the periphery of San Francisco’s Castro district. You left Idaho and your violent Christian Identity family at 13 when your mother caught you with another boy. She broke a bottle over your head as you fled the house. See the scar? Arriving in SF, you met guys who turned you on to meth and fucked you raw. Already shell-shocked from childhood, you seroconverted at 14, have been on the streets for four years, and look really rough. Half-crazy with rage and despair, you kick trash cans and shout in frustration, sometimes sit on the curb sobbing. Everyone avoids you.
These are two pretty extreme, but true, examples. “It Gets Better” is a good message, but it is not enough. The kids need more than words. Even the UC-bound good gay kid needs more than words. And seriously damaged youth need a lot more. They also need the tools to survive a world which will continue at times to be hostile. Food. Shelter. Protection. Health care, including mental health and substance abuse help. Access to education, job-training, connections and good adult mentorship. Spiritual support, including services for survivors of religious abuse. They do not need to be encouraged in magical thinking: “Oh…if I can only get to San Francisco! It’s like Oz! Everything will be fabulous!” Yes, sometimes it gets better. But: it does not always get better, and it does not automatically get better. If we actually want to see the kids flourish, we need to open our eyes to the full scope of the horror under which some queer kids come up – and add real resources that are equal to our encouraging words. We need to get real.
One of the web’s very best, Joe Jervis of Joe. My. God. has been blogging for over eight years, and has built a loyal and lively readership. Unlike many queer sites which strive to create safe spaces for their readers, JMG operates more like a free zone. The unmoderated comments section is always entertaining, informative and challenging…and often offensive. This is a good thing. Debate is healthy. Covering up rot just breeds more rot. And we’ve all got our rotten elements. Air helps dissipate the stink.
Joe published a rant in 2006 in which he talked back to the ‘normal’ gay people who want to rid pride parades of ‘defectives’ – those nice folks who discuss “how we might go about ‘discouraging’ certain ‘elements’ from taking part in the parades.” We all know who the elements are. Joe’s nice gays spell it out: “Why must all the coverage be drag queens and leather freaks in assless chaps?” The more outre the image, the better the press.
Of course, freaks have always made for good spectacle. The ancient Romans even bought and sold deformed human slaves at specialty ‘monstrosity markets.’ We no longer generally buy and sell living human bodies, but we do trade in representations of those bodies: images, words, memes. We deal in abstracts: Semiotic Weaponry – wars of words. Violence is inherent in communication. We undo and remake one another with our choice of words, appearance and other social signifiers. We attract and repulse one another. Vanillas might be put off by Leather’s overt sexuality and we might gag on their cologne. Punks and preps trade shade. We insult each other on purpose and accidentally. Dykes can see patriarchal oppression in a nice basket, and few gay men want to look at naked jiggling double D-cups – even with those little pieces of electrical tape over the nipples. One guy’s hot hairy bear is another’s disgusting old fat man. You think that intersex or trans boy is an attractive man? The guy next to you might think she’s a stupid self-deluding bitch. Feelings are real, but they are not facts. We can modify our interactions to minimize psychic damage, but the potential to offend others with our particular “defects,” or to participate in a particular ideology by our presence, will always be there. Only solitude and silence guarantee against this. We can stake out a spot on the mountaintop or disappear into the depths of a shimmering nishikigoi pond. Not a bad plan for serious self-reflection, but eventually we just might want to rejoin the party. Maybe.
Joe continues: “I’m not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers, or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It’s OUR party, bitches. If you think that straight America would finally pull its homokinder to its star-spangled bosom once we put down that glitter gun, then you are seriously deluding yourself. Next year, if one of the Christian camera crews that show up to film our “debauched” celebrations happen to train their cameras on you, stop dancing. And start PRANCING.” For the rest of the rant, click here.