My Fifty Years As An Out And About Gay Man …

My Fifty Years As An Out and about Gay Man…

This past Friday night, the beginning of an extended Fourth of July holiday (since the Fourth falls in the middle of the week), I was at the Ramrod, my old drinking hole and Lauderdale’s leather/levi bar, enjoying the club music and the half naked men gyrating on its postage stamp dance floor when it hit me. Besides turning 71 in another week, July also marked my fiftieth anniversary as an out and about gay man.

Practically every Gay Pride festivities in the U.S. has the word Stonewall in its title. Stonewall was a seedy Manhattan bar in the West Village, open when its Mafia owners paid off the cops ( remember, gay bars were illegal at the time), raided when they didn’t. Only this time, on a hot June night in 1969, the patrons, many of them drag queens, were in no mood to be paddywagoned to the local police station. Instead they rioted and the Gay Liberation movement was born.

No I wasn’t in the Stonewall that fateful night. But it was the first gay bar I ever walked into a year earlier in July of 1968.

Living at home in Jersey while I was completing my degree, I was working to pay for college at a now defunct retail store chain called Two Guys where my boss was a dead ringer for Jackie Gleason, that rotund, wise-guy comedian. Only there was something a little peculiar about Charlie. When he said he wanted to do something special for me for my 21st birthday, I figured we’d go out for dinner at the local Italian restaurant where, for lunch, Charlie would have a gargantuan meat ball sub and a “diet Coke, please” since he was on a perpetual nowhere diet. I had convinced him to hire Rob, a crush of mine from college, but I was surprised when the two of them pulled up at my parent’s house to pick me up that Saturday night.

Driving into the City, Charlie revealed his true persuasions to me and Rob (we soon came out to him, too), and how he had been a headliner drag queen entertainer in the ‘50’s. So where did we end up but in Manhattan’s then seedy West Village and the Stonewall. I’ll never forget the beads you had to walk through after the bouncer let you in, and the go-go boys dancing on the bar. It was years later that I read how the place had been run by the Mafia and how it was constantly raided if the payoffs weren’t enough. Had I known then, I would have hightailed it to Port Authority Terminal that night and taken a bus home.

Years later, my ex who is ten years my senior told me he was nearly caught in a bar raid in the mid ’60’s. Believe or not, gay bars were illegal and if you got caught in a raid, your name was published in the paper. Your family knew, your employer knew, your life was over. My ex managed to escape through a back emergency entrance, otherwise …

I had hoped I would make it with Rob, but in the end he fell asleep after his first drink, and I ended up getting picked up by some older guy (probably 25) in a white suit who took me back to his apartment a few blocks away. Naïve me, when he whipped it out my first reaction was, what am I supposed to do with it?

But I’ve always been a quick study.

Over the intervening decades I would play the gay scene in Hollywood, California, before there was a West Hollywood, return to New York and its West Village leather scene, now all gone, meet my ex partner who I remained with for forty six tumultuous years, somehow survived the AIDS Genocide of the eighties, built my career and my fuckbuddyships in the nineties, and entered the world of the web in the early 2000’s as an early retiree to Fort Lauderdale which was poised to become the epicenter of gay life in America.

If you want to know more, check out my memoirs, “Furry Man’s Journal” on Amazon under my pen name, RP Andrews.

And have a Happy Fourth.

Friday, my assessment of my life as a gay man. Was it all worth it?

 

 

Is Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Retiring The Beginning of the End For Us?>

Is Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Retiring The Beginning of The End For Us?

Probably yes.

Why?

Because although as a Republican appointed by Reagan, he voted more on the side of the Conservatives, he was the one justice more than anyone else who made possible many of the rights we as gay men and women enjoy. Perhaps the most noteworthy were the anti-sodomy and pro-gay marriage decisions for which he wrote the Court’s majority opinions. He was also the swing vote in many social movement decisions that led to positive progress.

Now Sir Trump has the golden opportunity to replace him with a staunch, tighted assed Extreme Right type and get that person passed Congress which is dominated by the Republicans. Once that happens, see our rights and women’s rights and the rights of other minorities in American society erode or even go backward.

The most lasting legacy of any President is who he appoints to the Court since these individuals are there for life and can have an impact twenty, even thirty years into the future.

Liberals were hoping that elderly justices on the Court like Kennedy and Ginsberg would hang in there till hopefully the Dems returned to the White House, but no such luck. In fact, Ginsberg, fit as a fiddle, is in her nineties but it was Kennedy at 81 who decided to call it a day.

Oh yea, they’ll be fights as cases attempting to marginalize us as second-class citizens work their way through the courts in the future. But if a case reaches the Supreme Court, a court that will now be tipped to the right, says “Sorry Charlie,” that’s it.

That’s why it’s called the Supreme Court, dummy.

Medical Marijuana Anyone? Knox Dispensary Here I Come!

Medical Marijuana Anyone? Knox Dispensary Here I Come!

For those of you too young to remember or give a shit, there was this sadistic senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, who led a Witch Hunt in the early fifties to make a name for himself. It was just after World War II and the Red Scare had gripped the country – now Russia tries to infiltrate us not with spies but through our modems – and McCarthy started accusing names in our society, mostly concentrated in the entertainment industry and Hollywood, as ”card-carrying members of the Communist Party.” A mere whisper from the McCarthy camp and you were blacklisted. Your career was over and for many their lives.

Well, a week ago this past Monday, thanks to the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Post Office, I became a card-carrying member of the Medical Marijuana Society of America.

Yes folks, I got my official Medical Marijuana card, allowing me to purchase the stuff, and the very next day I made my field trip to Lake Worth, north of Fort Lauderdale in Palm Beach County and the Knox MM Dispensary. I preferred hiking it up to Palm Beach than entering the Manhattan style traffic of Miami, site of the only other dispensaries in south Florida. Broward County where I live has too many school zones – I guess despite all us gay folk, people are fucking like rabbits – but rumor has it one should be opening soon.

Knox was conveniently located just minutes from IS 95 in a bright sleek modern medical office building right on the main drive. True there was a security door to enter – the receptionist had to buzz you in – and a sign on the door stated no firearms inside but I guess this was for all the crazies – conservatives who think MM is the work of the devil, and potheads who would like to clean the place out.

While reviews on the web spoke of long waiting times, there were only half a dozen people before me,I guess, because it was a weekday afternoon. I checked in at the front desk, showed my card, the receptionist looked me up on the state registry and after only a ten minute wait I was whisked inside by one of their young, very Irish, very freckled sales reps who, glancing at my records, said l had an “open order.” That means l could buy just about anything l damn well pleased from capsules to edibles to the concentrated oil cartridges which you smoke in one of those vapo-cigs which is what I chose given my recent past experience with my friend’s stuff.

I made my usual editorial comment how modern medicine had failed me in the pain department. All traditionalists prescribed were pills that knocked you out, made you sleepy, made you dizzy, got you hooked, or left you with a limp dick.

Not MM, my cheerful, forever smiling sales rep said, “All it does is make you happy, make you giggle and give you an attack of the munchies.”

She went on to explain there are about 10 varieties or strains – much like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream – each with a slightly different effect. She recommended I start with Baldor for daytime use which gives you a boost (my testosterone doc told me it was also good for sex) and use Gemma at night when I want to relax and get to sleep. Each came in the form of an concentrated oil cartridge that screwed onto the vapo-cig. I expected the stuff to be a high ticket item but each oil cartridge was just ninety bucks. A few minutes later, I left with my stuff secured discreetly in a little white bag. (Did the white symbolize hope?)

Gemma lives up to its reputation. Three drags about an hour before you go to sleep and its nighty night. No more getting up two or three times in the night to shift from the bed to the sofa where my trusty heating pads await me to ease my chronic lower back and neck pain, the result of my collapsed spine. Plus unlike Advil PM that leaves you with a dopey feeling the next morning, MM has no such lingering effect. Baldor, the daytime stuff however does, so I’ve been taking just a drag along with my Advil daytime, and Bayer Back and Body.

So what’s the verdict you ask? Is MM better than all those pharmaceutical answers? Hopefully, but I still need more time and experience to make a final judgement.

But one thing is certain. Medical marijuana is the only option I got left.

What It Means To Me To Have A Lover

What It Means To Me To Have A Lover

In two weeks I turn 71 – please, my FB friends, no silly birthday greetings, I find that practice infantile – and in my fifty years as an openly gay man I never had reciprocal love from another guy until now, until HE came along. Yea, over the years I had my crushes and infatuations and one sided love affairs that were all in my head like some Harlequin novel addict, but not even with my long term partner who was as conservative as a Presbyterian minister, and as romantic as an unflushed toilet, no, not until now did someone come into my life suddenly – isn’t that always the way – and show me what it’s like to have a man feel the same way about you as you feel about him.

I thought that such feelings were impossible, that they had been blowtorched out of me as I earned my Ph.D. in the Gay School of Hard Knocks.

I was wrong.

True, what turns him on and makes him complete is not what the average boyishly handsome, intelligent and athletic 43 year old guy looks for – HE likes his men older, usually much older than him so though he could be my younger son, and my usual longings are for guys closer to my mythical age – I’ll get to that in a second – not a day goes by that I don’t thank the Gay God for having him. And, right up front, there’s no money or drugs and other inducements involved. All he wants is me. In fact, sorry Just For Men, he even likes the gray in my beard. He’s the one with the naturally manly lean and mean body like it was sculpted in clay and I the guy in fair shape and stretch marks, but he’s the one who keeps telling me I’m the perfect man for him.

On the other hand, in my defense, I ain’t your typical seventy year old either. Most people take me for my fifties – I know that’s still old but seventy sounds like pre-nursing home material – thanks to good genes, not abusing myself when I was young, and keeping my shit together and mind fresh when most guys over 50 – gay or str8 – are train wrecks.

And we’re both fur lovers so it doesn’t take much more than a glance or even just a text to give one another raging hard-ons. Totally compatible in bed from Day One, we also are creative types both in and out of it – I write with words, he writes with music and digital images – and we share the same minimalistic views on life and living.

Most of all, I’ve done things with him that I never did before with any other man like – yes, hold hands. Christ, you would think if you had reached the seventh decade of your gay life holding hands with a guy would have been old hat by now, but not for me. He’ll grab my hand if we’re out and about or lying naked side by side in bed as of it were the most natural thing for two men so into one another could do. And while I’ve kissed guys, no one kisses like he does. Christ, we could probably kiss the afternoon away without even knowing we’ve cum.

After all these years of watching other couples display their affection for one another openly, and feeling a mixture of jealousy and loneliness, it has finally happened to me.

Just the other day I painstakingly went through all our text messages to find out when this all started – it was two years ago come this fall – and I saw we both recognized the chemistry between one another almost immediately.

No, we have not pledged oaths of monogamy, though at my age promiscuity does not hold the glamour it once did, and we both cherish our time apart, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will go down as the love of my life.

What do they say – better late than never? And if it all ends tomorrow and my tomorrows are reaching their expiration date, I can at least say I had it once in my life.

Thanks, Gay God. I’m a believer again.

“Online Solicitations Require No Reply.”

“Online Solicitations Require No Reply.”

This was the headline of a recent advice column from Miss Manners, today’s Etiquette Guru.

A guy who used online dating sites was complaining that he often never received a response from women to whom he had sent a “personalized letter … five to eight sentences long … pointing out some of our common interests … and suggesting we meet for coffee and conversation.”

He felt their ignoring his little missiles was rude and uncouth. He continued:

“Even if there is no interest on their part, what is so difficult in a response, something like, ‘Thank you for your interest. While l enjoyed reading your profile, l do not see us as a couple. Best of luck in your search.’

Miss Manners’ assessment of the guy’s dilemma went on for six paragraphs (maybe she’s paid by the word like Charles Dickens was. His profuse prose had its reasons, all financial). She ended with:

“Although your tactful wording could serve as a model for rejecting an acquaintance, there is really no charming way, other than silence, to express, ‘l can’t imagine that it would be worth my while to meet you.’

How would l have answered the guy?

What fucken planet did you land from?

I akin hits on the web to cold sales calls, which means if l ain’t interested in your product – which in this case is you – l don’t have to do anything, especially if telling you l’m not interested is going to eat away at my data usage.

Hell, if l hit up a guy l dig and whose profile sounds like we should be compatible once, maybe twice if l just came home from the bar and l’m drunk, and he doesn’t respond, l MOVE ON. I don’t expect shit if he ain’t interested. Like l say, if they don’t want you, they don’t want you.

Yet l get guys who l’m not interested in who have been hitting me up off and on FOR YEARS. If l didn’t respond to your fifth fucken “You’re hot!“ or your tenth, “Breed me,” do you really think haranguing me will work??

Or may be you’re a MORON ( which by the way was a psychiatric clinical term) and don’t get it.

Some of you may consider me tight assed and egocentric to not at least graciously thank a guy who gives a “You’re hot!” compliment but l find if l do, the guy often interprets this as an entree for more extended conservation. Exactly what l don’t want. Sorry guys, l’m on these pick-up sites to get picked up, not chat.

The worse are those guys who you have to insult by clearly stating, “l”m not interested. I’m into fur and you’re not furry. Sorry.” (l don’t have to give a reason why but l do so that the guy sees there’s a very concrete black and white reason why we wouldn’t click) who two weeks later hits me up again with another “Be my baby daddy.”

If there was ever a reason for a mercy killing, this is it.

 

Lauderdale’ s Wilton Manors Stonewall Festival: Oceans of Diversity

Fort Lauderdale’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Festival:
Oceans of Diversity

For the first time in my life as a gay man I wasn’t just an observer but a participant in a gay pride event, and Fort Lauderdale’s, held this past Saturday in the heart of America’s current gay capital, Wilton Manors, was one that could even give NYC’s a run for its money. I had a table hustling my novels of gay erotica under my pen name, RP Andrews, (http://hardcoregayeroticabyrpandrews) shared with my buddy Mike who publicly debuted for the first time his work as a digital artist, even selling some pieces. (You can find his stuff at  http://ttablewheymontage.blogspot.com.)

2018-06-17 12.32.54
My buddy Mike the artist and me the hard core porn writer by our table.

Yes, there was us vendors and the now traditional parade, and yes even a glorious hot and sweat South Florida afternoon to shine on us – what is a Gay Pride celebration without sweat – but what struck me most were the oceans of diversity that passed by our table. It was if no two people were quite alike, and it was then that I came to my own private conclusion that our people, the gay people of the world, are by far the most diverse people of humanity. Yes, there were those of us who conformed to our subculture’s’s niches, the drags and the leather men and the jockstrapped exhibitionists and butch cut girls, but so many, so many others projected our own “this is me, damn it!” attitude that made this day – our day – particularly special.

As an exhibitor I had the rare opportunity to chat with some young guys and gals (one twenty something young man thought I was sexy – thank you gay God) and to all of them I remarked that, despite Trump, this was a great time to be gay.

True, as a child of the late sixties, I was a part of the gay liberation movement that followed Stonewall, but I still lived and worked for the most part in a world where being homosexual was a stigma. Today, even the highest in our society can be chastised, even banished for making a mere homophobic remark. But my young people, as happy and excited as they were, the joy of the day lighting up their faces, didn’t quite see it that way, and intimated they wanted more.

Damn right we do. Yea, we’ve come a long way baby, but we ain’t quite there yet. But numbers speak louder than words and if the thirty five thousand people who came to Wilton Drive on Saturday are any indication, getting there is just a heartbeat away.

Happy Pride, not just on our day, but everyday of our lives.

 

Those That Shout Don’t Get Ulcers

Those That Shout Don’t Get Ulcers

My good friend Donnie is a genuinely nice guy. But sometimes being too nice and holding it all in with people you should not be nice to can lead to a terrible case of ulcers which were uncovered during his last colonoscopy.

Now it’s true his sixty hour a week job as a high powered ad executive, has its moments. But there are other stress points Donnie can easily eliminate.

Just a month ago I witnessed some obnoxious jerks at Donnie’s pool party, who kept grabbing at his tits and crouch when he repeatedly told them to cool it. After they left he vowed they would never be invited again, but in hindsight he should have told them to “get the fuck out” the day of the party.

Or what about the meth head cutie and buddy of Donnie’s from Georgia who was invited to stay the weekend but ended up barricaded in his guest bedroom getting high instead of mingling. Had I been the host I would have told him that if he wanted to get high all alone he could do that much better – at home.

So I’m already working on the “Doing A Ray” curriculum which is telling assholes exactly what you think of them, sometimes punctuated by lots of shouting and the use of colorful New York vernacular.

In the meantime I’ve asked Donnie to do a demo the next time he is on a plane for work. The first passenger that pisses him off gets a loud “Go fuck yourself!” If the female attendant attempts to intervene, he’s to tell her to go fuck herself. And If it is a male attendant he is to grab him, throw him in the john and savagely gang rape him.

How I know he will be successful is when I get that call from his partner that he was escorted off the plane by the feds.