Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bored at the No-Tell Motel


For family reasons, I was suddenly called upon to drive over 600 miles across one of the most remote northern  British Columbia highways.  You can drive for hours without any sign of civilization.... endless rocks and trees, trees and rocks.  I love the wilderness and this sort of scenery but it's not everyone's cup of tea.

I stopped overnight at a motel in a small sawmill town of less than 1,000 people.   It is a very remote even by Canadian standards; with a couple hundred miles of wilderness to the next big city.

I lived for years in just such a remote small town and never gave the gay issue a thought.  Since coming out, I now look at everything with a gay perspective.  What do you do if you are growing up gay in such a small, remote, blue-collar town?  What if you're the only gay in the village? 
The answer:  "Move to the big city, young man!"

What's a bored, middle-aged gay guy to do in a tacky highway motel?  Take half-nekkid pictures of himself and post them online, of course!   I hope you like them!

NOTE:  For most of my life, I thought that my lard-arse was too big.   One of the biggest discoveries I have made since edging my way into the gay world is this:  having an ample butt is usually considered an asset in the gay world.  Who knew?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Congratulations to New York and a Caution

http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/
written from Attawapiskat, Ontario (Go head, google it!
)

Congratulations to everyone in New York who work so hard to achieve marriage equality!  Here's hoping that the momentum continues and other states follow New York.  For sure, the religious nut-jobs will be out in full force trying to get the legislation repealed.

When same sex-marriage became legal in Canada ten years ago, I'm sorry to say that I didn't support the measure;  I didn't actively opposite it either.  Rather, I was neutral on the subject.  Being gay was just completely off my radar.

I thought, "Why would gay people need to get married?  They can't have children!"  At the time, I thought the only reason to get married was to provide protections for parents with children, such as maternity and parental leaves for people with natural or adoptive children.  How wrong I was! Despite having been married for ten years myself, I was oblivious to the many dozens of other rights and protections given to married people.

Ten years ago, I would never in a million years have thought that I would hope to (eventually) meet some great guy and get married again.

Canada was the first country in the world to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples. Since there is no residency requirement, same-sex couples from countries around the world come here to get legally married.  The city of  Toronto bills itself as the 'capital for same-sex marriages' with well over 6,000 such marriages performed.   Please check out one of my earliest posts on 10th anniversary of same-sex marriages in Canada.'

A caution:  Every LGBT American is well aware of what happened in California regarding same-sex marriage.

Unbelievably, Canada may be facing a similar situation.  Two weeks ago, delegates at the Conservative Party convention voted to re-affirm their ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling Conservatives hold an absolute majority in the national parliament and in the Senate.

For more details, read all about it from this leading Canadian LGBT blogger, Slap Upside the Head.

The Supreme Court of Canada has never ruled on the constitutionality of a same-sex marriage ban.   However, a bill to ban Canadian same-sex marriages in Canada would face serious difficulties.

Nine consecutive provincial court rulings have been won, stating that equal marriage is a right guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  In the longer term, the Conservative government could appoint judges to change the makeup of the Supreme Court of Canada to include conservative judges who do not support same-sex marriage.


The bottom line: vigilance is required.  The battle continues!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

34 Questions Meme, continued

http://hairydudes.tumblr.com/
This is part two of the meme which I started in the last post I'm not sure what anyone else thinks about it, but I rather enjoyed doing it!  

18. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Colleagues should e-mail promptly if it is work-related.   If I asked a friend a direct question or needed a response, then I'd hope to hear back reasonably soon.  Otherwise, I don't worry about it.

19. Who is the most likely to respond?  Glen, a very sweet, romantic, sexy friend.

20. Who is least likely to respond? Everyone is busy and has their own problems.  I'm not going to judge someone if they don't respond.

21. Living situation? Married 20 years, fully separated 5 months and eventually heading for a divorce.  I'm living with my teenage children who are with me a lot of the time and our two little dogs.   My wife and I talk on the phone nearly every day, usually quite amicably.

22. When was the last time you cried? A month ago, I sobbed uncontrollably for about 30 minutes due my extreme spinal pain:  I blogged about this incident here.    I am feeling much better!

23. What is on the floor of your closet right now?  It's piled high with my wife's stuff.  It is my project this week to reclaim the walk-in closet after not having had use of it for twenty years.  Woot!!

24. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?  I'm not sending this to anyone but lots of people will see it.  Soon, my blog will hit 16,000 visitors (and 32,000 page views) from all over the world!  Amazing! 

25. What did you do last night?  Picked up / drove some of the kids around, then took a much-needed rest.  I returned to work part-time last week and was a bit uncomfortable and very tired.

26. What are you most afraid of? Not much!   Probably a family member getting a painful, debilitating disease.

27. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese but with lots of other things added if I have time:  fried onions and mushrooms especially.

28. Favorite dog breed?  Mongrels.  I find mutts are far healthier because of their "hybrid vigour."  These days, I prefer smaller dogs;  more portable!

29. Favorite day of the week? Sunday, but believe me, not for church-going purposes.  Sunday is more relaxing as many businesses here are closed and there is less temptation to run errands..

30. How many states have you lived in? One American state, four Canadian provinces.

31. Diamonds or pearls? I've worn a diamond stud in my ear for twenty-five years.

32. What is your favorite flower? Wildflowers:  cowslip or marsh marigold.  Perennials:  irises   Annuals:  sunflowers.

Marsh Marigolds


Iris



Sunflowers


33. What is your current favorite song?  Something from the 70s, because right now, music is just like background noise to me.  How about Rod Steward's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" It sums up my self-image these days:  positive!

34. Read any good books lately? I used to read voraciously but I haven't read a book in a long time and I regret it;   I have no time.  I read cookbooks as though they are novels.  I am presently reading Anne Willan:  From My Chateau Kitchen.
http://hairydudes.tumblr.com/

Thursday, June 23, 2011

34 Questions Meme

http://dirty-speedo.tumblr.com/

I really enjoyed reading Cubby's responses to this meme on his blog, Patently Queer.  I can't imagine how anyone could possibly be interested in my personal details ... but what the heck, here it goes!   I only did half of this meme today so this post won't be too long. Part two continues here.



1. What colour are your socks?  I go barefoot as often as possible.  I bought a few dozen pairs each  of black socks and white socks at the Dollar Mart, so I never have to search for that stray sock.
 2. What are you listening to right now?  I only listen to CBC radio.
3. What was the last thing you ate? Oatmeal porridge with maple syrup and a piece of home-made rhubarb pie for breakfast.  Hey, I'm convalescing!
4. Can you drive a stick shift?   Yes, and I love it.  My current car has an automatic transmission.
5. Last person you spoke to on the phone?  Both my parents at the same time, discussing weekend plans.
6. Do you like the person who sent this to you?  Yes, Cubby is a great friend.  Very sweet, funny and honest.
7. How old are you today? I’m 45 years old.
8. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? I never watch sports on TV mainly because I consider it a waste of time.  I'd rather be doing something active myself.  Also, we don't have a working TV in the house.  The only "must see" TV sports for me is watching the men's and women's hockey finals at the Olympics but only if the Canadians are in it.  They usually are!
9. What is your favorite drink? I drink very strong coffee made with dark roast espresso.  Also I enjoy a really good cup of black tea such as Darjeeling or Earl Grey.

I'll drink anything alcoholic but I do enjoy a good beer, but not American beer.  It seems so watered-down, we used to call it "fairy piss."  We meant "fairy" as in Tinkerbell, not the gay slur.   I enjoy drinking rye whiskey which I think is called "Canadian whiskey" in other countries.
10. Have you ever dyed your hair?  Never, but I have put in some blonde streaks several times,  when my wife or daughter had a home-streaking kit on the go. I really like the look of the streaks in my darker blonde hair. 
11. Favorite food?  Can't narrow it down as I love most food.  Indian, Thai, Mexican, Chinese .... I love it all.  I've tried very hard to enjoy eating kidneys, but to me, they are a good way to test your gag reflex.... and the same thing goes for tripe and overcooked beef liver. 
12. What is the last movie you watched?  Dirty Dancing on DVD.  Hadn't seen it in over twenty years and I still liked it.  It made my neck sore just watching the dancers flinging their heads about.
13. Favorite day of the year?  The day when we get our first major snowfall of the year, so I can start to do all of my winter sports.
http://dirty-speedo.tumblr.com/


14. How do you vent? With my work colleagues as we understand our job stresses.   I discuss things with my parents and sometimes with my children, although I really shouldn't burden them with my problems, especially those involving their mother.
15. What was your favorite toy as a child?  Tonka trucks
16. What is your favorite season?  I love all seasons, but winter is my favourite.  All of my favourite recreational activities involve snow.  I love the crisp air, white snow and the lack of mosquitoes in winter. 
17. Cherries or Blueberries? We are all 'blueberry snobs' as we only eat the beautiful wild blueberries we pick from the north woods rather than the flavourless farmed blueberries.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guilt

http://hairyetc.tumblr.com/

Guilt seems to be  the commonest emotion among married men with children who figured out (or admitted) they were gay later in life.

I've been reading the blog  What a long strange trip, written by Jim, a late 40ish father of three college-aged children and married almost 25 years.   Jim is at a crossroads and is "about to burst" as he contemplates the possibility of life as a gay man.  Please check out Jim's blog and perhaps leave a comment.  I love his honesty, integrity, sense of humour and writing style.

Jim posted recently about his marriage, "It seems that guilt is mostly what is keeping me here.  It is - guilt and, more positively, obligation...... obligation to consider the well being of C and the kids."

Many married gay men with kids, closeted or not,  often feel overwhelmed with guilt.  They feel that being gay will ruin the lives of their entire family.  Worries include:
  • will my kids will be harassed / shunned when everyone finds out about me?
  • will the kids be messed up when our family breaks apart?
  • will my family be financially ruined?
  • will my wife ever be happy?
  • should I have told my wife sooner about my sexuality, rather than stringing her along for years or even decades?
Except for me:  I don't feel the slightest bit guilty over any of this, despite my estranged wife's constant efforts to lay a guilt trip on me.

I know in my heart that I entered into my marriage in good faith, without any hint that I would develop an attraction to men.  I worked very hard supporting my family.  I raised them for nearly twenty years, operating much of the time as a defacto single parent as my wife spent every possible moment away from the house.  I endured years of relentless criticism, anger and complaints but I chose to stay.   I felt I needed to be there to raise the kids and run our household.  Had I left, I would have feared for my kids' safety and well-being.

Now that we are separated, I continue to behave with compassion and responsibility towards my wife who is going through an extremely difficult time.  We still have our moments of drama, but they occur far less often.  She is no longer telling me that she wished I was dead, throwing furniture or threatening to get gasoline and burn my house down.  I really want her to be happy, although  I have long thought that she is, in fact, incapable of happiness.

I will admit that it took me a very long time to accept the fact that I was gay, but now I am fully out to everyone who matters in my life.  I don't regret any of it, even my marriage.  Having regrets is just allowing your past to cripple your future.  (I borrowed that line from Under the Tuscan Sun.) 

My kids are turning into responsible, compassionate and productive citizens who seem unconcerned by my gayness.   As I said to my kids recently, if your mom and I hadn't have gotten married, none of you would exist!   I am pushing ahead on my gay journey with no regrets and no guilt.
http://hairyetc.tumblr.com/

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sexy Asses

I'm bored with all the serious stuff I've been posting recently. I'm feeling great and quite optimistic after a visit with my doctor yesterday.   I was inspired by Dr. Spo's recent post with a picture of his callipygian assets.   Bring on the sexy asses!  Which are your favourites?
#1: Great Lakes Guy

#2: http://gear-bulges.blogspot.com/
#3: http://themosthotmen.blogspot.com/
#4: http://themosthotmen.blogspot.com/
#5: http://gayarseblog.blogspot.com
#6: Great Lakes Guy
#7: http://gayarseblog.blogspot.com
#8: http://gear-bulges.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Positive Outlook

http://hairygods.tumblr.com/

When I was in my early 30s, a senior manager at my workplace (one level up from my boss) called me into his office.  This was the first time we'd had a private meeting.  I'd been recommended to head up a rather challenging project at location in another city and he wanted to discuss it with me.

He introduced himself,  looked at at me speculatively across his desk, shook his head with a smile and said,  
"What is it about you?  Everyone seems to think that the sun shines out of your ass!  What do you do that makes them think that?

I laughed out loud at his "shines out of your ass" comment.  It was so unexpected!  I said,  "I don't know!   In my real life, I never brag about myself, but at that moment, I had to answer his question seriously:


  • I work well with everyone even if I don't particularly like them.  I can separate the personality clashes and the tittle-tattle which occur in a workplace with the task which needs to be done.
  • I said that I was pretty smart but more importantly had a lot of common sense and practical experience about how things work in our technological field.
  • I seek advice from others with expertise in the topic at every level. In particular, I always get input from the front line workers most affected by the decisions being made.  Most people in my position had egos which were too big to do this.
  • I never present my boss with just "a problem."   Rather, I always present the problem along with, "but here is what I think we can do to solve it."
  • The most important thing:   I am the most positive person that I know.  I think can make a valuable contribution in everything I do.
I was reminded of this several weeks ago when my spinal condition was at its worst and most painful.  I had lost the use of one arm (although I could move my fingers) and the numbness had spread  down to my feet.  I was actually starting accept the fact that I might end up in a wheelchair; it was as bad as that.

(As an aside, my marathon training which I previously posted about wasn't going particularly well due to some knee pain.)

I suddenly thought, "Hey!!  If I'm in a wheelchair, then I can starting competing in wheelchair marathons!   How cool is that! My knees won't bother me then!  And wow!!!  Just think of the great shoulder and arm muscles I will get!!   (My skinny bird-arms are my least favourite part of my body.)

I had second thought, "Am I insane?" .... here I am in excruciating pain and could end up being a cripple.  
http://www.kennyherriot.co.uk/gallery.htm

Here I am thinking how cool it would be to compete in a wheelchair; to have yet another life challenge to overcome.  What "normal" person would think that being in a wheelchair would be a positive outcome?

I did.  Somehow, I managed to turn this terrible prospect, even temporarily, into something positive. 

ps.  By the way, my recovery is going exceptionally well.  However, I've been referred to a neurosurgeon to discuss the underlying causes which still remain and possible courses of action.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Small Town Pride, continued

http://emackinations.tumblr.com/

Here's my account of my first-ever Pride event. My oldest drove me to the Pride family picnic and then went on some errands.  For this year, I wanted to check out the scene by myself.  I only stayed for about thirty minutes;   it would have been too painful to stay any longer.

It was my first time ever being in a (small) crowd of people where everyone was either gay or gay-friendly.  It's hard to describe, but I felt the beginnings of a very special feeling..... as though I "belonged", not completely, but it was a start. 
 
By far the best part of the event was seeing the very large number of teenagers, all of them very attractive, hip and seemingly self-confident. These youngsters had every manner rainbow-striped Pride gear, from packsacks, t-shirts, t-shirt minidresses, dog leashes, purses and hats... all clearly purchased for such such an occasion.   They were just so cool!   I was so proud of their courage!  These kids are so lucky to be growing up in a country with such a strong acceptance of LGBT people.

Another surprise:  I was expecting to see a lot of hefty lesbians with buzz cuts, wearing work boots and flannel shirts.  (I apologize for that stereotype.)  Instead, I saw attractive women in their 30s who appeared to be there as same-sex couples with children, looking like any mothers you see see at a playground with their kids. 

I bought a Pride t-shirt and flag, took my 12 of 12 pictures, walked around the site and admired a beautiful young policeman. He had am amazing bubble butt highlighted by the tightest policeman's pants. He was on duty at the city police's job recruitment table, with the goal or improving diversity amongst its police force. I wondered, did they send a gay policeman to the LGBT picnic?  Another stereotype:  straight policemen wear tight pants, too, I'm sure!

Sadly, there were not too many 25 - 50 year old men present.   I was there in the late afternoon and the kids' activities were still in full swing. I'm sure the hot guys were going to show up for the evening's entertainment ending at 11:00 pm.

I chatted to a old friend  who hugged me and offered her condolences. I said, "What for?".  I didn't realize at first that she was referring to my marriage breakdown.  I told her, pointing around me, that this is why marriage failed... "I finally figured out I was gay!"   I said the kids were perfectly fine with me being gay and she said, "Of course they are;  you two are the most fantastic parents ever!"  Another bit of support! 


I didn't go into the tent where all the LGBT groups had displays.  No one else was in there and I suddenly chickened out, not wanting to be at the centre of attention. I'll check out their websites  for all the info I need.


My goals for next year:
  1. participate more fully in more of the Pride week events
  2. help out on the organizing committee
  3. What I really want to do the most; attend a big city Pride Parade!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pride 12 of 12

Blogger Chad Darnell has a project where people from all over the world take 12 pictures on the 12th of each month and post them on their blogs.  Check out everone's pictures this month: here is Chad's 12 of 12  link list.

This month's 12 of 12 pictures are on the theme Gay Pride, taken at my small town's fantastic Pride Family Picnic.  There were many people wearing very cool pride clothing and accessories: T-shirts, hats, mini-dresses, packsacks, umbrellas. purses and the like.  I would have felt  too intrusive to take pictures of them, so I limited myself to photographing inanimate objects.

I only stayed for a short time so as not to aggravate my spinal injury, but I'm very happy I went .  It was another step forward on my gay journey!  Baby steps!  Details to follow in next post.

#1:  Canada leads the world in LGBT rights and protections
#2:  microphones decorated with rainbow streamers.

#3

#4:  One of my kids painted this clay pot for me.

#5:  The public service unions were represented.  No one noticed the irony of the "Good Jobs" sign hanging on the Port-a-Potty.

#6:   I bought my first pride flag.  Sweet!


#7: 

#8:   

#9: Local musicians performed all day long.

#10:   Two things to note here.   First, our city police department had representatives at Pride with the goal of recruiting LGBT folk to become police officers.   Second, I was ogling the hottie young policeman, he of the wide stance, amazing bubble butt and the tightest possible pants.  I wondered, "If he was chasing some criminal, how could he even run in those pants!"   I was also thinking, "Hmmmm...... is he showing off the goods on purpose?"

I didn't dare get any closer to get a proper pic.   Damn!!


#11:

#12:  my freebie pink triangle frisbee


BONUS PIC:  Lucky #13 -- I am practicing for my first gay leather event; maybe a harness would be a better look?  I still have my mid-80s black leather pants.  I fill them out better than ever!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Small Town Pride

http://guysthatgetmehard.tumblr.com/

Later this month, I will be attending a major Gay Pride event in my small town. Right now, only my family and a very few closest friends know I'm gay.   At the Pride event, I expect to see some colleagues and mutual friends, past and present.

It will be my first "public outing" in a very small way and I'm a bit nervous about it, for the possible impact my outing may have on my kids.   However, I must push ahead with my gay journey;  I've come so far and don't want to lose momentum now!

All the community LGBT groups will be there, so at the very least, I plan to buy a Pride T-shirt and maybe some other Pride items. More importantly, I plan to talk to the representatives of all the different groups and find out about some local gay-oriented social, sports and/or organizational groups I can join in September. Wish me luck!


Based on the comments on my last post and some private e-mails, it seems that many of you want to see me get laid!   RG best summed up my feelings on this, "You are a boiling cauldron of pent-up sexual frustration and you need to explore and experience what it's like to have sex with another man."

It's not that easy, however. Right now I am completely exhausted, a bit lot stressed-out, concerned about my financial future and have my kids with me most of the time. 


Another stressor: my wife and I have had some extremely difficult conversations recently about our respective homes.  Although I am very much "on the mend" and my pain is much reduced, the 'disability management officer' at my workplace tells me I won't be allowed to return to work until July at the earliest.


I have a very clear idea of what is best for me regarding when to start my gay sex life.  I will take to heart these other comments as well:
  • Just take it easy Buddy. There's no rush.
  • Take it slow!
  • Follow whatever path is right for you!

I do have a plan, however.  By September, I hope to be able to provide a full report on:  "What Who I did during my summer holidays."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gay Adolescence


http://inwooddaddy.tumblr.com/
Dr. Spo recently offered me this wise advice, partially tongue-in-cheek, "You need to get laid, seriously and soon."  Despite all the drama and physical pain in my life right now, there is within me an undercurrent of anticipation and excitement.

BosGuy recently asked the question "When was your gay adolescence?", that sense of exuberance and  exploration experienced by men who come out in later life.   It is like being a teenager again, exploring one's sexuality except with an infinitely greater self-confidence which only comes with life experience.

The "must-see" movie Beginners deals with the subject of gay adolescence.  Christopher Plummer plays a terminally-ill widower in his 70s who is going through a gay adolescence and takes a young male lover. 

Now, my gay adolescence will look very different than if  I had come out in the early 80s as a young man and had a "slut phase" then.   It is likely that I wouldn't have survived, given the state of HIV / AIDS at that time.

Today, I have a strong desire to continue to be a positive role model to my children.  I would not want my children to know that I was whoring around our small town, s*cking and f*cking every guy that crossed my path.  It is highly a little unlikely that I will even have a slut phase.   I like to think (and I may be delusional here) that I would want to have even a small emotional connection with some guy before having sex with him. 

I hope to be in a LTR with some nice guy my age after a period of several years.  Several formerly married gay guys my age have shared with me their experiences with online hookup sites.  The consensus:  online hookup sites are NOT the route to take for guys like us.  Mr. Right is more likely to be found in gay community groups, gay committees, gay dads' groups and gay sports leagues.

And again, to all my friends who have expressed concerns about my well-being during this part of my journey. I promise that I will be safe, sensible and cautious.  I  would never place myself in a situation where I would be taken advantage of or be influenced by peer pressure.  I am highly cautious, methodical and a major planner.  When it is the right time and situation for me to lose my gay virginity, I'll be the first to know.
http://shamethedevil.tumblr.com/

Sunday, June 5, 2011

5 on the fifth

Steven Chapman says: 

"Take 5 photographs on the days leading up to the 5th and publish those on your own blog and then add the link to my blog,  State of the Nation UK so that others can see your images. "

You can either take 5 random pictures or follow this months theme, which is: NEW


I've decided to take pictures of all the NEW flowers which are suddenly appearing in my yard. It has been a very cold spring here (temperatures near freezing on some nights) but today is very sunny.   I was tempted to get off my sickbed couch and take a careful stroll around the yard.
We'll get a bushel or two of pears from this tree.
Lady's mantle with some Oriental poppies just about to bloom.

Pink flowering crabapple tree in full bloom.

I love the black currants which come from this bush.

Little patch of dwarf irises almost finished blooming,.

Bleeding hearts:  as kids, we used to enjoy eating the white part in the middle.

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