Beauty

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Many of us have at least one photo that when displayed elicits the response from others, “You used to be hot.” The gay male friend who makes such a comment would insist it’s a compliment. But, some of us mentally end the sentence with “and you’re not now.” If we’re able to laugh, we can move on. If we take offense, we’ll stay stuck in suffering.

Open Hand

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It was mile two and a t-shirt passed by me that was imprinted with “First Name Last Name 196X – 199X.” I did the math. Mid-30s. “Wow. How young,” I thought… and then another passed … and then another … and then I realized … these are all young men who died from HIV / AIDS. This is a run for a charity that delivers meals and those meals used to be for men living with HIV. I cried.

Dear Ellen

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Setting: Ms. Matlock’s Seventh Grade English Class. My school is a private Christian middle school. It is 1997. I am 12 years old.

Ms. Matlock: This week we are going to learn how to write a well-structured letter.

Me (to myself): Cool

Ms. Matlock: Each of you is going to write a letter to Michael Eisner. He is the CEO of Disney.

A Memory from 1985

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“Hello?”
“Hiya Edwood.”
“Just a minute.”
I hold the kitchen phone up in the air and call to my mother.
“Ma, it’s for you.”
“Who is it?”
I immediately launch into a high-pitched coyote yowl.
“Yahhh-woooo!!!”

Sailing the Mediterranean

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May 1994, the ex, my bff Doug and myself jetted off on a 2 week adventure in Turkey. We began in the port of Marmaris, where we boarded our chartered gulet, with a 2 man crew, for 7 days of sailing pristine blue waters, east to the Lycean tombs of Fethiye, west to Rhodes, stopping along the way at deserted islands, viewing ancient ruins, eating like princes and swimming the chilly Mediterranean.

No Gay People in Cambodia

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“No Gay People in Cambodia” 2006 – I’ve had the great privilege to work from age 26 to 70 educating people around the world with the truth on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s personal and professional awakenings, challenges, and strengths.
Ray would travel with me when the Investment Banks brought me to their offices in Europe and Asia. This photo was taken in Jaipur, shortly after I spoke in Mumbai.

Willie

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I’ve described how, in 1976, I met Willie Wilson, who introduced me to the passionate joy of infatuation between men. While visiting DC and in need of a one-night stand, he ran into me, a “near-virgin” at 23, at the Pier 9 disco, and came home with me. While pondering the failing three-way relationship he’d been in for 18 months in California, he stuck around for 2 weeks, long enough to rock my world.

Tuxedo Rebellion

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February 1992 – I went on consecutive RSVP Caribbean winter cruises in 1991 and 1992. The cruise line used to require its mostly male passengers to dress up in tuxedoes for two dinners each cruise, an annoyance to some of us.

Hidden Costs

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Clockwise from back row left: Rick, Brian, me, Rick, and Jeff along Indiana’s Lake Michigan coast (summer 1981).

1981-2017: If I had to select one photo from my archives which personifies the devastation wrought upon my generation by the AIDS epidemic, it would have to be this one: a group of handsome and fit gay men in their late 20’s, smiling while posing on a beach (July / August 1981, as the discovery of AIDS was being announced). Iconic, yet, also a parable for innocence about to be destroyed.

We Are Family

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1979-2017: My first relationship with another man began when I met Jim at the YMCA in 1979. I was 26, about to leave a job I hated, unsure of what would come next, and open to the steady influence of a sexy “older” man (He was 39.), who found me alluring.