Wednesday, January 31, 2018


The road less traveled
The Williams Institute is a UCLA Law School
think tank focused on "rigorous, independent
research on sexual orientation, gender identity
law, and public policy." Obviously said group
has a not so hidden agenda. Which is to take a
deep dive into the not so public reality of what
amounts to slightly less that four percent of our
total population. However like any minority -
GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered,
queer folks) continue to be unwilling victims of
aggressive, prejudicial, and unfair treatment.
And while during the last decade so much has
changed, there is still much work to be done.
More or less
While some would have you think that queers
are a threat - heterosexuals actually have little
to worry about. Nine out of three hundred and
fourteen million Americans are LGBTQ. Per
US Census data - there are 647,000 same sex
couple households within these United States
of America. That equates to ONE percent of
all "coupled" American households. Obviously
depending on where on lives the number varies.
In states like New York or California LGBTQ
couples tally in at .96 to 1.75 percent. Whereas
here in Montana it's .67-.96%. With even less
in Wyoming where they hit .29 to .66%.
Prejudicial treatment
Recently the Williams Institute published
a report on what some call "reparative" or
"ex-gay" therapy. Said missive states that
698,000 (7.7%) of LGBTQ Americans ages
18 to 59 have received "conversion therapy".
More than half undergoing said treatment
as adolescents. Twenty thousand LGBTQ
teens ages of thirteen and seventeen will
be "treated" via a licensed health care
professional before they turn eighteen. In
addition, fifty seven thousand more will be
"helped" by a religious or spiritual advisor
before age eighteen. HOW SICK IS THAT?
Basic instinct
Ignorance may be bliss - however stupidity is
apparently required in torturing anybody who
is different from the rest. Per my perspective
being gay is anything BUT unnatural. Long
before puberty I was attracted to other males.
Said chemistry had nothing to do with sex but
rather was driven by a chemical attraction. An
innate affinity for others of the same sex. Being
raised in a conservative heterosexual world, I
had NO idea that there were other people like
me. Soon I figured out that what was normal to
me was abnormal. So I did whatever possible
to conform to the norm. To be one of YOU.
Sad but true
What followed was in essence "reparative
therapy." I lived the life of a heterosexual.
I dated many girls and ultimately married
one. All of my friends were straight. ALL
I did fell within the boundaries of normal
behavior. Professionally, privately, and in
all ways personally. For quite a few years
I buried my true inclinations. And built a
life based on the traditional principals for
success. Soon I had four children, my own
advertising agency, two lovely homes, and
membership to several private clubs. I had
it all then just as easily lost it. But why?!
False identity
All good intentions aside, the life I built was
a sham at best. Even more sad, I didn't know
what I was missing. I won't go into the details.
But in the end, my attempt to be something
I wasn't failed. That doesn't mean I left my
wife for a man. Rather, our marriage failed
because it was based on a well intentioned
white lie. Leaving us both incredibly unhappy
for reasons we only too late understood. The
resulting impact on us, our children, and on
our families was devastating. And in hindsight
totally unnecessary. If only I'd allowed myself
early on to do what came all too naturally...
Back lash
Many of us spend our lives trying to be what
we're not. However the very idea that parents
entrusted with the development of children
would purposefully battle DNA is baffling.
Back in the dark ages when I reluctantly came
out - it came as no surprise to my parents and
dearest friends. Deep down every parent of a
GLBTQ child somehow knows who and what
their offspring truly are. However some resent
and hence battle said reality. And in the process
do much more damage than they can possibly
imagine. Leaving me to wonder how a parent
can justify destroying a life in order to "fix" it.
Birds of a feather
To be clear - we GLBTQ individuals are NOT
normal. Specifically as relates to orientation.
However in truth all that we want is exactly
what all of the rest of you take for granted.
First, we want to love one another. Meaning
that like you, GLBTQ people want to share
their lives with those of like minds. Second,
we want to be treated with respect. Beyond
who we sleep with, nothing differentiates us
from the rest. Well, that is except all of your
prejudicial treatment and efforts to punish us
for being different. Finally, we simply want
to be left alone so that we can enjoy our lives.
Missing link
That's where you - the "moral" majority come
in. Obviously you outnumber us. Your wants
and needs drive our overall culture. Given we
will never be anything but an isolated minority,
we need your help. Rather than battle all that
makes us different - why not accept us for who
we truly are? And in an ideal world... move on.
The last thing we want to do is continue to talk
about this. Almost every LGBTQ person wants
to live their lives as God intended. Which in
our case means living and loving in a slightly
but not so different manner from most others.
So why can't the rest of you leave us alone?!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Mars versus Venus
My girlfriends often bemoan the fact
that men have it much easier. It seems
that males are free to age with carefree
grace while putting little to no effort
into maintaining or upgrading their
outward appearance. A wrinkle or two
doesn't bother most of us, nor does a
few extra inches around our middle.
Rather most guys are comfortable in
our own skins and willingly embrace
the ravages of time. Confidence like
that requires little to no angst and as
important, virtually no maintenance.
Rose colored glasses
Not every guy benefits from the aging
process. I recall attending my thirtieth
high school reunion. Most of the ladies
looked amazing and better than before.
It was obvious that they all put a lot of
effort in their appearance that night and
it paid off. On the other hand, ALL of
the studs had become duds. In particular
one Italian stallion football hero had lost
his panache only to replace it with a big
fu man chu stache. The question is, what
does he see when he looks in the mirror?
Or is he simply blind to reality?
Over the top
While some males age like fine wine,
others end up as tasty as a ten year old
can of brew. Cary Grant and Harrison
Ford aside, it ain't always pretty. Most
men simply give up. Rather than battle
gravity, they reposition their belts below
the bulge. Instead of polishing their
pates, they perfect the art of the comb
over. Many allow excess hair to sprout
out of orifices like fountains of youth.
Is this all simply due to self satisfaction?
Or rather proof that finally the battle is
done, the victor won, the loser defeated.
Is that all there is?
Are the standards for beauty different
between the sexes? Hell yes! However
I would argue that women have done
it to themselves. Most men accept and
embrace reality, whereas women fight
it to the extreme. Often the outcome
of that battle is anything but attractive.
While shiny, stretched and plumped
skin may seem youthful to a dowager
in her boudoir, it pales in comparison
to the fresh youth of an ingenue. Men
simply never stop being themselves
and that may be the best age antidote.
Everything's new again
After many years together, it's easy to
become complacent. The comfort of
sharing one's life with another can lead
to mediocrity, a nice word for boredom.
It's inherently human to perk up when
someone new arrives on the scene. All
of a sudden you're open to new things,
ideas, and experiences that you never
thought of before. The question is why
do some relationships last as others fade
away? If youth is wasted on the young,
what motivates old men to lavish all of
the benefits of their age on the young?

If the shoe fits
You can teach an old dog new tricks as
proven by all of those old guys married
to young wives. New circumstances
enable them to adapt to new things. But
sadly starting anew mostly benefits the
newbie. They gain immediate access to
financial and emotional stability without
the heavy lifting required to achieve it.
Why can't we add that "freshness" to
our proven partnerships? Isn't it better
to celebrate with the partner who made
it possible rather than some kid who is
younger than some of your shoes?

Monday, January 29, 2018


Some loathe it. Others run away at the very
thought. A few go south to never come back.
Then there's me. For more reasons than I can
possibly recount, I adore winter. Not because
I love freezing my ass off. Nor do I relish the
task of shoveling snow or battling the blues.
What I adore is the solitude that comes with
this time of the year when it's best to hunker
down and get cozy. Timing is everything.
Which is why I'm so grateful that our most
recent transition from Manhattan to Montana
happened in January. What better way to start
off the year than cocooning close to home!
Short order
If nothing else, a chill in the air inspires me.
This weekend I spent much of my time in
the kitchen. Not only the warmest room of
the house, it's the place where I get comfort
from preparing and serving comfort food.
Saturday night I prepared a classic one pot
boiled dinner for Frank's father and a friend.
Not only was it easy, after simmering on the
back burner for over five hours the corned
beef was fab! Last night I roasted a chicken
for the two of us. Plus two yams, a creamed
kale gratin, and some apples crammed full
of maple syrup, pecans, cinnamon, and butter.
At this point in life, simplicity seems offer the
most satisfaction to both Frank and I. Over our
lifetimes we've had the privilege and pleasure
to over indulge in too many of the better things.
However all of the fuss that accompanies such
indulgences only grows more tiresome with age.
Suddenly one discovers that it's so much more
enjoyable to feed one's souls by the fireside in
the comfort of your own home. Given we no
longer feel the need to impress, we finally can
let our hair down and truly relax. Somehow
finally seeing the light becomes all the more
appropriate during the darkest days of winter.
Be prepared
Fortunately staying cozy and warm enhances
one's outlook. In my opinion there really isn't
a season that's prettier than winter in central
Montana. Last night it snowed and we awoke
to a glorious layer of flocking lingering on all
surfaces outside. Thus my favorite winter sport
is to just enjoy the view. Frank's garden is fast
asleep beneath it's blanket of white. Said hiatus
enables Frank to plan for the next season, Thus
he pours over his stash of seed catalogs, garden
guides, and horticultural publications. For now
he can dream sans any responsibility of tending
his plot! Very soon he'll be deep in the weeds!
Optimist's club
So rather than complain, I plan to stay out of
the cold and chill over the next few months.
Once the warm weather finally arrives here in
central Montana - so do visitors. Soon we'll be
hosting a plethora of family and friends as they
come to enjoy our beautiful weather. While all
of that excitement is fun at the time, having the
time to clean out a drawer or binge watch The
Crown is just as enjoyable. Hence all the more
reasons why winter to me is anything but the
time of my discontent. My only fear is whether
I'll be able to get my act together before spring
blooms! So here's to a long and happy winter!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

7th Day Surprise: RERUNS


Most of my generation grew up watching television.
Even if the experts said it was bad for you.
And somehow we turned out fairly well.
Even if most of what we watched was questionable at best.

Don't touch that dial! 
Tune in for a blast from the past!