FULL DISCLOSURE--I WOULDN'T WANT ANYONE TO SAY THEY DIDN'T KNOW!
The books I have had published in the past tell most of my story so I won't get into that aspect. I IDENTIFY, FIRST AND FOREMOST, AS A GAY MAN though many gay men don't like that label as to who they are. I am many things: a Jew, a 'Yankee', a friend, a server, a writer, retired, volunteer, lover of Mother Nature, reader, blogger, theatre and movie goer, gourmand, gourmet, etc., but all proceeded by GAY. It is who I am and proud to be and fought 66 years to be able to say/write that loud and clear.
I talk for myself and not for any other gay person though I use many as examples.
I have never wished that I was or wanted to be nongay. I don't see gay as being any more, any less, or even being, a burden than all human beings have to deal with.
I don't, never did, need/want, anyone's acceptance or approval or validation of who I am and how I live(d) my life.
I firmly believe that the only differences between a gay man and a nongay man is who they have sex with and how they approach sexuality, the former being much freer.
I admire and respect effeminate men and masculine woman more than I admire the so called masculine nongay jock who beats his wife and takes steroids to break records, as the former face being bashed and/or killed each time they step out of their home because of the way they talk, walk and act.
I would/will/do applaud the drag queens who are the first to march, the first to rebel, starting the Stonewall revolution, who, withut being asked will do and have done benefits for AIDS from day one or perform to raise money for gays in trouble, than I would admire/respect the nongay so called 'butch' man who tortures dogs. And, no, I have never wanted to be a woman--their life is way too hard!
I am thankful that my whole life I have looked for and found caring, loving friends, male and female, gay and nongay, who are there for me (as I am for them) whether I need them or not. As nongay people, gay people are choosy who they are friends with, discarding those who are negative and condemning a whole group of people because of a few. I see how some nongay people treat their 'gay friends'--they all have one, don't they?--and I wonder how little that gay person can think of themselves to be 'friends' with those hypocrites.
Though I am 'straight acting, straight looking'--whatever that means--doesn't make me any better or worse than than those who aren't gay or nongay.
In many ways I suppose I fit the stereo type that many, gay and nongay, people apply to gays--I like Cher, Bette (both), Barbra, Diana, Broadway musicals and plays, torch songs, romantic movies not to forget that I do cry when I am moved and am not ashamed about it--but I don't like Liza and I still have my gay card!
Like many gay men, not all, I love the fact that many of us are, as John Rechy called us, 'Sexual Outlaws'. I believe in promiscuity, orgies, back rooms, baths and point to the fact that after 65 years of not following nongay standards I have been practicing safe and safer sex before it was even spoken of.
Though I don't believe in the definition of marriage, as nongays define it for me, I will fight for those who want that piece of paper to show that they are as much as a couple as the nongay married couple are.
I will, and have fought, fight for ALL gays who are put down for being who they are. The only people I have no tolerance for are people who are homophobics who have nothing good at all to say about gay people and only spend their time putting them down. They are gay people's worst enemy who fail to stop gay people from who they are and want to be and, not surprisingly, very vindictive, unhappy, unsuccessful people--just look at the nongay divorce rate. They try, and fail, to bring others down to their level not seeing the harm they are doing to future generations.
I have always been an independent person who has relied on myself to have a roof over my head and food in my stomach and, consequently, I have been able to help runaway/throwaway kids who have prostituted themselves on the streets to get a bite to eat, a place to shower or a bed to rest their head and have become HIV or have AIDS, in a safe environment. I do not believe you can ever repay those who have paved the way before you and have to, until my dying day, help those coming along after me. And some nongay people have to add a (false) sexual connotation to this and make it appear dirty--like their minds.
I have been called negative names by people who don't know me and just have to laugh at them for stooping so low. And I won't stand for gay or nongay people calling any gay person names or putting them down as that is not supporting those who may be hurting.
I am a proud and out gay man who wouldn't choose, even if I could, any other life for me . And I salute any/all gay people who are proud of themselves, fight for others and just want the equal rights they deserve and earn and, as always, fighters get the respect they are honored with. I am also proud of nongay women (many) and men (few) who fight for gay people to get equal rights. (What are nongay men afraid of? That's another blog!)
We have a diverse group of gay men (and women) here who may be different than me and want different things than I do but from the young (Matt) to the approaching middle age (sorry, AJ, Dale, Chris, Tim and Tom--couldn't think of another term--don't hate me!LOL) to the old men (Yes, talking about you Alfredo--and me--LOL) they are articulate, loving and care for human beings!
Someday I will understand what a nongay person means when they say a 'gay lifestyle'--my lifestyle is no different than theirs--now my sex partners may be so is that what they mean? Why don't they say so?
We don't wear a sign saying, "I am gay" but we will stand up for other gays when they are being put down!