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Hump Day / Lump Day


Good Morning My Confidants!


I don't know about "hump day," but it sure is lump day.


I do not know what has been going on with my shoulders and back and right hip (I know it has something to do with all that weight I gained), but recently it has been pretty bad.


Luckily, today, I get a massage!


And I am thrilled it is with a gay massage therapist and a friend.


We can be so naughty,


And, no! I do not mean that kind of naughty!


I use that word, naughty, in only the most fun gay silly queenie wonderful masculine way...


And what does that mean?


I miss gay culture.


As we gay people get more and more and more homogenized, and especially heterosexualized, as we lose the identity and culture we had to create because society at large wanted nothing to do with us, I find myself often "missing" they 80s and 90s and even early 2000s. Gay is so unique. The bonds, the caring, the shade, the language, the shared experiences, the things we saw and survived together, the sexuality, the brotherhood, the totally unconventional, outré, relationships and friendships.... It is all changing.


A lot of those changes are good. But so many have come at the price of losing something that I really only see with the friendships among drag queens on RuPaul's Drag Race.


Did you know that often gay men for tight little friendships where we can gossip about each other and jokingly insult each other, and yet also protect each other to the death and death's door? We have done it! Often in those circles, a lot of us have slept with each other, or at least that is the way it was. Two men tricked, had a nice time, but found out they had way more in common friendship wise than bedroom wise and we became friends. Or, as often happens, as dramatically as a relationship might end, we often stay friends afterward (I didn't with my ex, but that was his decision), and so these groups of friends are all but incestuous. Just not the gross kind. It is powerful. Or it was. As we more mature men age and leave this world, that all seems to be going away.


Young gays are different.


They are growing up in a world where Will & Grace has always been there. My generation's only examples were Jody on the sitcom Soap, who couldn't decide if he was trans or gay (and that is because the writers had no clue what to do with a gay character) and Steven Carrington on Dynasty, the prime-time soap opera, and he (again, the writers) told us was gay, but had relationships with both men and women throughout the series. And then of course the occasional very queenie side kick would show up in some movie or other. Not good examples.


So imagine what growing up in a world where gay characters were celebrated and won Emmys! Sean Hayes (openly gay actor, but not at the time) won an Emmy, as well as three Screen Actors Guild Awards, Eric McCormack (not gay but playing a gay character!) won an Emmy, Leslie Jordan won an Emmy, and then the show won many, many other awards, and kids born by at least 1995 or so grew up watching this on television! Emmys for shows about how normal it is to be gay!


These kids (percentage wise) grew up in a totally different world!


I'm not saying it isn't still hard! Oh, no!


But most gay men I know under 45 or so seemed to hold hetero life as the WAY to be! "The only difference between us and them is who we sleep with." I cannot speak for all gay men of course and there may be many who take exception to all this (I mean, I can't speak for all gay men!), but for instance, I know a man who is not a kid but is younger than me who has been out for some time, and slept with men for most of his sexual life, but he is truly only now coming out. And he seems to be ashamed of who he and what he is (I could be totally wrong, I can only go by how he has presented himself to me), He had a lot of trouble coming out, easily as much trouble as I did although I was ready to be me a decade earlier, and this shows that just because gay men can get married to each other, society can still make it hard to come out (usually religious based societies) and he is very defensive about his life and the way he has chosen to live it, but it in many ways emulates heterosexual life. He is repulsed by gays that kiss on the cheek and say "Girl!" and "What's her problem?"


I know this sounds critical, and maybe on some level it is. I'm getting there. Closer and closer every day of NOT judging those who are different than I am (which turns out to be most people I guess). What I was trying to say is that it is still confusing to come to the realization that you like the same sex than most of your friends and acquaintances, and just because there were (are) shows like Will & Grace and RuPaul's Drag Race (sixteen seasons and multiple Emmys!) and Looking and so many others, that doesn't mean it's easy to be gay.


And, I can't speak with authority about young or young-ish gays. I can only speak as a gay man who was made to feel as if there was something wrong with me, someone that needed to be treated psychologically, or "encouraged" to live in gay "ghettos" with other "men like me."


However, gay ghettos? Why.... They came to be wonderful! Amazing!


Michael from the Tales of the City novels says it best (and my God, those books were life preservers in rough hetero seas) when he said, "Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it."


And how does all this relate to me getting a massage today?


I could go on above for pages more, but the answer to this question is....


My massage therapist and I are both gay and willing throw out certain "proper" procedures. For instance, I will probably disrobe in front of him instead of covering myself before he comes in. There is nothing sexual about that (not really, any more than nudity might often have some sexual undertones). And that whole tiny little towel thing? And the magic masseurs work to keep it from falling off? I don't care if it slips. Why I've had massages where there was no towel at all, and no. There was no "happy ending" because that is illegal, and a therapist can lose their licenses. Sex workers (and bless them) and massage therapists are not the same thing. The point is, we can if we want to dispose of what is "proper" and what isn't, and it is so wonderful! Glorious! AND during the massage, we can gossip, throw shade, or (and) talk about dreams and jobs and our spouses, and for us, it's all as normal as can be. My husbands know he will be seeing me naked and his husband (who will be downstairs) knows as well and there is nothing wrong with it!


I know a lot of people that would not be comfortable with that. And that is cool. I respect that. I certainly wouldn't want a woman to see me naked. And I know a woman is vulnerable with a male massage therapist. And I know we all have different degrees of comfort for many reasons. I respect all of that.


I am only happy that I can choose to dispense with all of that, and with this therapist at least (I can think of at least one more) I am not vulnerable and that I am completely safe. It's like the ultimate version of going to the camp I go to each summer and throwing off my sarong and skinny-dipping with all my friends.


I guess what I am saying is that this wonderful blessing of a massage that I really need for my shoulders and back and right hip is going to be doubly blessed because it reminds me of the "old days," that while they came with many hardships, came with a glorious brotherhood. A bond. A kinship. A tribe. That small room with be a "going back in time" to when what was normal was what we needed normal to be.



It's a blessing!


We might even kiss!


**happy sigh**


Is there anything that is "not normal" that makes you feel normal? Things that you embrace that you might not broadcast to neighbors, friends, and family? I am not asking you to tell me, because, you know, that whole "neighbors, friends, and family" thing. Just know this, as long as you cause no harm to others, I've got your back.


I don't know if you got anything out of today's morning ramble, and seriously, for me...Life is good. And it is getting better. Better every day.


I don't need to live in the past. But on the other hand, past memories can bring warmth to my heart an a smile to my face.


And don't I keep talking about how beneficial smiles can be?


Peace and love to you all!

And that ye harm none, do what thou wilt!

Namaste,

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas




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I have other, mostly older gay men friends who also miss the traditions and comradery of the past. You are not alone there. Being LGBTQ has changed so much in the past few decades.

I have never tried very hard to be "normal." I have found my "tribe" in various different settings and have friends from many different settings.

Be and Do what makes you happy. 😊

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Contestando a

(((HUGS)))

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Invitado
20 mar

A release to be your true self in a warm environment is truly bliss. Wish I could do it more. Warm comforting thoughts today!!😁

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I think it makes the situation harder for us not to judge when the person involved seems to be judging themselves.

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Contestando a

That is true. But I have also learned that I can pretty crazy, as you have witnessed, and I need to stop judging anyone from the path they are on. I can live for me, and if I care about a friend, I have to let them live for them. If they ask advice, that is one thing. If not, I have enough to worry about with myself.

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