Tattoo Mania

6 Jul

Tattoo Mania

Here I am spouting old school again. Back in the day, a guy sporting more than one tattoo was either fresh out of the Navy or fresh out of Leavenworth. Today, guys – and gals – are sporting so many of them, sprawling over vast acreages, you’d think they were planning to submit their bodies not to science when they die but to the Museum of Modern Art.

What’s behind the rage? To show you’re hip? Stand out above the crowd of tattoo-less wimps? Look anti-establishment? Look super-butch (and that goes for the girls too)? Or just bring more attention to those bulging biceps or heaving pecs they adorn?

First, so many guys are sporting tattoos nowadays you’re cancelling one another out. I mean, where’s being different anymore?

Second, some guys go too far and what’s supposed to be sexy ends up looking grotesque.

(I also read somewhere you ironically can lose muscle tone in the affected area, but maybe that’s just an old wives tale.)

Or maybe I’m saying all this because I’m jealous. I’m so hairy, it wouldn’t matter whether I had tats or not. Nobody would be able to see them under the Swahili bush that sprouts all over my body.

The most extreme example of art-gone-obsession was the guy I spotted on the gay strip at Haulover, the nude beach outside Miami, who wore tats from the top of his shaved head to the bottom of his toes. Yes, including his dick. I guess getting your tool tatted, which has to be painful, proves you’re a real man. And just to make sure he got noticed, he was adorned with a few external accessories like a PA and nip rings. Yikes! Talk about cock, ball and tit torture.

The tight assed conservative business world is usually not keen on tats being visible in the office, though as there’s more staff turn-over and younger – and tatted – bosses take over, that may change. But let’s hope that for guys who have tattoos on their necks, faces, etc., and one day realize that after they lose their job in the gay ghetto, excessive tattoos are no-nos out there in Str8land, there’ll be an In-home tattoo remover to make them disappear as easy as last night’s trick – after you’ve given him car fare.

Here are the Results of Monday’s “Would You Do It?” Survey

3 Jul

Here are the Results of Monday’s “Would You Do It?” Survey

Get married, that is. While almost everyone who responded to my little survey said they would marry if the guy was right for them, twenty percent of you said you still preferred the free and open lifestyle of a gay man, so there seems to be some contradictions going on here. (Surprise – surprise.)

Also reflecting what I believe are some stigmas still attached to being gay, even in these so-called enlightened accepting times, a third of you would hesitate about marrying another guy for fear of the fallout with family, str8 friends or job.

So just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s for everybody.

Some Other Bits and Pieces … Some clerks in the marriage license offices in predictability a few of the Southern states are balking about issuing same sex marriage licenses because of their own religious beliefs. Then have a clerk who doesn’t give a fuck handling SSM’s – not everybody in the agency can be a Holy Roller.

Plus, I’m a Lutheran who’s for abortion and family planning who worked for a Catholic hospital system for over thirty years, and when I put my ID card on, I towed the company line. That should be even truer for employees of secular, public agencies. If your religious beliefs are that comprised, get another job.

… All this wailing about the Confederate flag following the North Carolina church massacre is just diversional tactics. What we should be focusing on is some common sense gun control.

As far as the NRA and the Second Amendment goes, have you read your Constitution lately? Here’s the amendment in its entirety: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” When our holiest of holy documents was written, most Americans lived in the sticks and had no one to defend themselves but themselves.

I think we’ve come a long way since then – or have we?

… Swinging Richards, Lauderdale’s biggest male strip club, closed its doors for the last time last weekend. Was it a victim of the “Wilton Manors Syndrome?” If a place isn’t within a mile radius of the Alibi, our landmark bar, it has less of a chance of success, and Richards was located in an industrial park a whole twenty minutes away from Wilton Manors in Pompano Beach. Or did it suffer from the “New Meat Syndrome?” You know, not enough fresh bare asses up on the stage to keep things interesting and guys coming back for more? Who knows?

… if you were working in the 80’s and 90’s, the water cooler talk often led to how European workers were so much better off than us with their fat pensions they could take sooner and their six week vacations. Well, look what happened to Greece.

There’s no free lunch.

HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH!

The Next Frontier?

1 Jul

The Next Frontier?

Okay, it looks like marriage equality is a home run even if we may still have some resistance in a few states to fall into line. But from my perspective, the far more critical issue is removing discrimination when it comes to housing, employment and other public accommodations. I mean, if you can’t rent an apartment or eat in a restaurant or get or hold a job because The Man doesn’t like homos, what good is a marriage license?

Believe it or not, in these supposedly enlightened times, less than half the states have anti-discrimination laws on the books which means we have no recourse if we feel we’re being shit on in the workplace and more. And with not only some states but the Supreme Court itself protecting the rights of companies to discriminate based on their religious convictions, this might be the far harder battle to win.

What is especially insidious is that this kind of discrimination is difficult to prove. When some swanky eatery gives you and your partner the shittiest table next to the kitchen, or you sense a job interview going nowhere from some Bible beating str8, or your new Born Again Christian boss makes your work life hell, or suddenly that house you were told on the phone was available suddenly becomes unavailable fifteen minutes later when the two of you show up, how can you say for sure it’s because they think you’re gay?

Okay, last year the President issued an executive order which stops companies that do business with the feds from discriminating in hiring based on sexual orientation, but for much of the rest of the American landscape, we’re naked to the wind, when we really don’t wanna be.

Stay tuned for Season 2 of “As the Gay World Turns …”

So Would You Do It?

29 Jun

Would You Do It?

So now we got it – would you do it?

Marrying another guy (or gal if you’re one of my female fans), that is. It’s great that we’ve been finally recognized, at least in this arena, as equal under the law. But tell me I’m wrong when I say most gays really couldn’t care one way or the other.

Now, believe it or not, George and I have been together, through thick and thin, for forty three years – shit! – (I was a child bride) and I’ve asked him a number of times over the last couple of years about getting married for all the obvious financial and legal reasons. Most of our family members are gone except for my sister and some adult nephews and nieces on both sides, and we’re retired and so don’t face the usual stigmas some younger guys might face in their personal and professional lives. And bear in mind, I’m the one with the money (G is my 77 year old boy). I mean, even before the Supreme Court’s ruling, all we’d need do was travel across the border from our summer home in PA to New York State and get hitched. Yet G’s stubborn macho ego refuses to budge.

So take my little, totally unscientific poll, would ya? Now that we got it, would you do it?

It Ain’t over Till the Fat Lady Sings

26 Jun

It Ain’t over Till the Fat Lady Sings

No, I’m not being disparaging to any of our female Supreme Court justices; what I mean is that while the Court has finally made gay marriage the law of the land, the bullshit ain’t over. Not by a long shot.

Consider history.

The Court’s decision in 1954 that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional was met with a backlash of resistance and violence. Members of Congress refused to abide by the ruling, and in 1956 over a hundred congressmen signed the Southern Manifesto, promising to use all legal means to reverse the Court’s ruling.

Case in point: Florida’s schools were not desegregated until the late 1960’s.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was followed by years of violence and resistance, again especially in the South where Jim Crow laws against blacks had ruled supreme since the Civil War. And some would argue with the recent rash of questionable police shootings, we’re right back where we started fifty years ago.

In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled against laws barring marriage between the races which many gay rights advocates view as a stepping stone to what happened this week. Yet, anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books in several states, and it took until 2000 for Alabama to become the last state to cave in, and then only after 60% of voters endorsed removal of anti-miscegenation language from the state constitution.

Just prior to this week’s ruling, thirteen states had still fought SSM, seven in the South. Others include Missouri, Michigan. Nebraska, Ohio, and the Dakotas.

So, will we face similar resistance in states that just don’t get it? And perhaps an actual renewal of violence against gays who some God fearing folks believe are bringing the country to the brink of utter moral decay? Will some gay parade become a homophobic’s death trap?

It ain’t over till it’s over.

“I Don’t Get It …”

24 Jun

“I Don’t Get It …”

Get

How about adding to this:
“I don’t get a white woman wanting to be black ..”

Or even some day:
“I don’t get a str8 guy wanting to be gay.”

Who knows?

Gay Pride Parades: Can We Talk?

22 Jun

Gay Pride Parades: Can We Talk?

Fort Lauderdale held its annual gay pride parade this past Saturday, that unlike New York’s which features activist groups, is mainly an excuse for alcoholics to drink, and this year’s parade was surprisingly short and, well, boring. (The leather contingent resembled one of those endlessly touring “don’t they know when to hang it up” rock bands from the seventies, hot then, grey-haired and tired now.) Also, New York is one of the few locales that holds its parade closest to the date of the Stonewall Riots and, this year, will be having its parade this Sunday, the 28th, the very date it all happened almost forty years ago.

What many gays don’t realize is that we all owe the lifestyles and freedoms we enjoy today to the drag queens of that fateful night and to – yep – Judy Garland.

You see, on June 28, 1969, the drags along with others at the Stonewall, a Mafia-run gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, were mourning the loss of their great gay icon who had overdosed the week before, when the cops, who probably hadn’t been paid off that week, decided to raid the place. In those days, raids of what were considered illegal places of congregation for deviants were common, and if you were caught in a raid, your name could be published in the local papers which often meant disgrace, loss of job and more. My other half often speaks of the time he ran out the back of a bar being raided, for fear his Syrian American family and Wall Street employer would find out he liked men not women.

In earlier raids, the drags and their peers had put up with the bullshit, but no, not that night when they were crying their eyes out over their poor, beloved Judy. And so was born Gay Liberation which probably next week, unless everyone is reading the Supreme Court tea leaves wrong, will culminate in same sex marriage as the law of the land.

So, yes, we owe a lot to those cross dressers, but having said that, I ask this simple rhetoric question: we can stop starting our gay pride parades with drags and over the top steroid junkies and leather men? I know the Rainbow flag is a symbol of our diversity, but I wish some of us had the balls to celebrate another kind of diversity, the diversity of ordinary people from all walks of life who happen to be gay to be the lead contingent of our parades.

Sure, those who attend our festivities – the last New York gay pride parade I attended in 2002 had as many str8’s as gays on the sidelines – are looking to be entertained. But invariably the 30 second clip on that night’s news represents, frankly, the fringe of our sub-culture and, without sounding judgmental, only perpetuates in mainstream society that we’re all a bit weird.

I know that will probably never happen – too many of us, despite these enlightened times, live in the shadows of bigoted rural America and the straitlaced corporate world where being open about who you are can still lead to rejection, violence and worse.

But I can fantasize, can’t I?

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