Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Death of the Old Year

Caio-Cesar01“The Death of the Old Year” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1842)
Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.
    Old year you must not die;
    You came to us so readily,
    You lived with us so steadily,
    Old year you shall not die.

He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend and a true truelove
And the New-year will take ’em away.
    Old year you must not go;
    So long you have been with us,
    Such joy as you have seen with us,
    Old year, you shall not go.

Dec20 (20)He froth’d his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But tho’ his eyes are waxing dim,
And tho’ his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
    Old year, you shall not die;
    We did so laugh and cry with you,
    I’ve half a mind to die with you,
    Old year, if you must die.

He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o’er.
To see him die across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he’ll be dead before.
    Every one for his own.
    The night is starry and cold, my friend,
    And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,
    Comes up to take his own.

tumblr_kxt79sHs8i1qauc1to1_500How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
’Tis nearly twelve o’clock.
    Shake hands, before you die.
    Old year, we’ll dearly rue for you:
    What is it we can do for you?
    Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone,
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
    And waiteth at the door.
    There’s a new foot on the floor, my friend,
    And a new face at the door, my friend,
    A new face at the door.


What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

The Carpenters – What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

If you would rather hear Diana Krall’s version of this song, click over to Cocks, Asses, and More.  I couldn’t decide between the crooning voice of Diana Krall or The Carpenters, so I decided to do simultaneous posts of both.

 

So what are you doing New Year’s Eve?


The Checkum Campaign

The Checkum Campaign aids to educate men of testicular cancer – diagnosing, testing, treatments by using famous celebs in the nude!  I hope they get your attention like they got mine.  Besides, give yourself (or better yet, if you have a partner, let him give you a testicular exam).  It can be very nice fondling your balls, and you can save them by catching testicular cancer early.
Do you know how to perform a Testicular Self Exam?  If you don’t here is a quick guide:

Testicular self examination (TSE)

Testicular cancer is usually curable. It’s also easier to treat when it’s found early.
From puberty onwards it’s important that men check their testicles regularly (once a month) for anything unusual like a lump or swelling. When you do this you’ll soon get to know what feels normal for you.

The best time to check your testicles is during or right after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is relaxed. Hold your scrotum in the palm of your hand and use your fingers and thumb to examine each testicle. Feel for lumps, anything unusual, or differences between your testicles. It’s normal for the testicles to be slightly different in size and for one to hang lower than the other.
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Testicular self examination

A normal testicle should feel smooth and firm (not hard). The epididymis (tube that carries sperm) lies at the top of the back part of each testicle. It feels like a soft coiled tube. It’s not uncommon to get harmless cysts or benign lumps in the epididymis.
 

What to do if you notice a lump or something different

Lumps or swellings can be caused by other conditions, and most lumps aren’t cancer. But it’s very important that you have anything unusual checked by your doctor as soon as possible. Doctors are used to dealing with problems like this on a regular basis. Remember that testicular cancer is nearly always curable, particularly when it’s found and treated early.
 

Symptoms of testicular cancer

The most common symptom is a lump in a testicle. But there may also be other symptoms depending on whether the cancer has spread outside the testicle.
Symptoms can include:

  • swelling or a lump in a testicle, which is usually painless – occasionally the swelling may suddenly increase in size and become painful
  • pain or heaviness in the scrotum.

If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body there may be some of the following symptoms:

  • pain in the back, groin, or lower abdomen – this can be caused by the spread of the cancer to lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen
  • a cough or breathlessness if lymph nodes in the chest area are affected, or rarely if the cancer has spread to the lungs
  • nipple/breast tenderness or breast swelling (gynaecomastia) – this isn’t common but can be caused by hormones produced by the cancer.

If you have any of these symptoms it’s important to have them checked by your doctor – but remember, they can be caused by other conditions.
Go to the second part of the post to see the naked celebrities used by Checkum in their testicular cancer awareness campaign.

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The Last Judgment

An Italian art historian claims some of the images depicted in Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment“—the fresco on the wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel—were inspired by acts the artist witnessed in homosexual bathhouses. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Elena Lazzarini, the author of a new book about the work, explains, “The virile male bodies are inspired by the physiology of laborers engaged in physical exertion, with taut muscles, strenuous exertion and pain etched into the expression on their faces.” (That is the most polite description of man-on-man intercourse we’ve ever heard.) Lazzarini goes on to say that Michelangelo drew inspiration from his fellow gays and the muscular prostitutes who regularly worked in the saunas.

The colossal work, which took the Renaissance master four years to paint and graces the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, is a depiction of judgment day, with the virtuous being called to heaven and sinners being dragged into hell. The full work was scoured for the queerest images, and boy were some doozies found.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
This pile of men headed to heaven is a virtual orgy. Check out the two hunks on the left in a deep embrace, the two blond twinks making out in the center, and the bearded daddies next to them who are about to make out. Yup, this sure looks like heaven.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
Here are a bunch of naked guys walking somewhere together and checking out the hot stud just out of view. (It’s hunky Jesus in this case.) Where do you think they’re going? Probably to get more lube.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
One guy on his back with his legs in the air is getting reamed with a giant pole by a line of gorgeous muscle studs. Nope, nothing gay happening here.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
Speaking of pass-around party bottoms, here is a gentleman bending over in a receptive position with another man’s hand—well, we’ll leave that to your imagination. But the line of boys behind him sure have a good view.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
Someone is being dragged to hell by his testicles. This doesn’t look so much like torture, but more like your average Saturday night at a leather bar.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
A group of men blowing. Yup, that’s what this is. They’re also showing off some sort of book. We imagine they are the world’s last remaining copies of Honcho magazine. For bonus points, check out the dude who just scored himself a bottom in the lower right quadrant.

The Gayest Images from Michelangelo's Most Famous Painting
Those angels and demons are so mean. They’re obviously breaking up a three-way between these two naked guys and their robed friend. This must be hell, because group sex is definitely allowed in heaven.

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And one more bonus image to use your imagination on.

The Last Judgment is a fresco by Michelangelo on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It took four years to complete and was executed from 1537 to 1541. Michelangelo began working on it three decades after having finished the ceiling of the chapel.
 

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The work is massive and spans the entire wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. It is a depiction of the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse. The souls of humans rise and descend to their fates, as judged by Christ surrounded by his saints.

The Last Judgment was an object of a heavy dispute between Cardinal Carafa and Michelangelo: the artist was accused of immorality and intolerable obscenity, having depicted naked figures, with genitals in evidence, inside the most important church of Christianity, so a censorship campaign (known as the “Fig-Leaf Campaign”) was organized by Carafa and Monsignor Sernini (Mantua’s ambassador) to remove the frescoes. When the Pope’s own Master of Ceremonies, Biagio da Cesena, said “it was mostly disgraceful that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures, exposing themselves so shamefully,” and that it was no work for a papal chapel but rather “for the public baths and taverns,” Michelangelo worked Cesena’s face into the scene as Minos, judge of the underworld (far bottom-right corner of the painting) with Donkey ears {i.e.foolishness} while his nudity is covered by a coiled snake. It is said that when Cesena complained to the Pope, the pontiff joked that his jurisdiction did not extend to hell, so the portrait would have to remain.
The genitalia in the fresco were covered 24 years later (when the Council of Trent condemned nudity in religious art) by the artist Daniele da Volterra, whom history remembers by the derogatory nickname “Il Braghettone” (“the breeches-painter”). In the painting, Michelangelo does a self portrait depicting himself as St. Bartholomew after he had been flayed (skinned alive). This is reflective of the feelings of contempt Michelangelo had for being commissioned to paint “The Last Judgement”. The figure of St. Bartholomew depicts the satirist and erotic writer Pietro Aretino who had tried to extort a valuable drawing from Michelangelo. He holds the painter’s flayed skin as a symbol of attempted victimization.

Much of this post was borrowed from Gawker.com and was originally written by Brian Moylan.

After the jump you can see QueerClick.com’s very irreverent take on this masterpiece by Michelangelo.

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Book Review: A Sticky End by James Lear

Though I have been posting poetry each Tuesday, I chose to do so on Friday this week for a special reason.  Instead of a wintery poem today, I have decided to post a book review.
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Best friends and sometimes lovers Edward “Mitch” Mitchell and Harry “Boy” Morgan have been in terrible jams before — their adventures of murder, mystery, and unstoppable sex have made The Back Passage and The Secret Tunnel international bestsellers. In A Sticky End, Mitch must face the possibility that Boy is involved in the chain of events that led to the suicide of his own colleague and secret paramour, Frank Bartlett. To absolve Boy, Mitch races around London finding clues while bedding the many men eager to lend a hand — or more. The policemen, working class gigolos, steam room bathers, embezzlers, and blackmailers that Mitch comes across create a tasty mystery and satisfying erotic romp.

If you are not familiar with the horny detective Edward “Mitch” Mitchell, then I suggest beginning with The Back Passage and The Secret Tunnel before reading A Sticky End.  However, here are a few quotes from the book that should tantalize you enough to want to read these books by James Lear.
Mitch Mitchel on his detecting method:

Holmes has his fiddle, Poirot his liqueurs—I have cock.  We all have our methods.

His libido:

I had to stop groping in the dark.  He who gropes in the dark tends to find things he wasn’t looking for—and, looking back over the last 36 hours, I’d found more cocks, asses, and mouths than was altogether plausible.  The one thing most likely  to distract me from a case is, of course, sex—and sex seemed to rear its head at every corner.  Was this a coincidence?  It often seems to me, when I reflect on my experiences, that whenever I am close in proximity to crime, to murder, sexual opportunities arise with far greater frequency.  Why is this?  Is my libido suddenly exaggerated by the nearness of death?  Is it, as the Freudians would have us believe, evidence of the close relationship between Eros and Thanatos? Or is it simply that criminals know exactly how to keep me occupied by throwing sexually attractive men in my way whenever I get too close for comfort?  Whatever, the reason, my three encounters with suspicious death have coincided with peaks in sexual activity.  I will leave further analysis to the experts.

On bottoming:

My friends and regular readers will know that, on the whole, I tend to take the active role in these encounters—partly, I suppose, through personal preference, but also because most men, in my experience, are so eager to take what they’re not used to being given that I have very little choice in the matter.  Nature has equipped me for the job—I’ve got plenty to go around, and enough stamina to keep up with demand, even when, in the last 24 hours, men were lining up with their asses open.  But there comes a time in every man’s life when he wants nothing more than to lie on his back with his legs in the air and take an enormous hard prick up his rectum, and that time had come for me.

Lear’s erotic fiction is a joy to read, whether it is the Mitch Mitchell Mysteries, or any of his other novels.  One thing to remember though, unless you have a Kindle or other e-reader, these are probably books that you would not want to take out in public to read (at least in most places), because nearly every one of Lear’s novels has a naked man on the cover.  But nobody does a book cover like James Lear.
JAMES LEAR is the nom de plume of prolific and acclaimed novelist, Rupert Smith. He lives in London and is the 2008 Winner of Erotic Awards “Best Writer”.


White Christmas (Sort of….)

I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm–Billie Holiday

The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing
But I can weather the storm!
What do I care how much it may storm?
But sadly, I don’t have a love to keep me warm.

Believe it or not, much of the Southern United States had a white Christmas.  Atlanta, (Birmingham—first time in recorded history), Montgomery (first time since 1918), all had a white Christmas, (or at least it snowed on Christmas Day).  I was a little further South, but we had snow with a mix of rain last night.  Right now it is really snowing, though very little of it is sticking to the ground.  The sun is supposed to come out in just a few minutes and the snow will stop.  But this has been a really nice Christmas.  I got to build castles with my niece, we had a tea party, we played doctor with her little toy medical kit (we did not “play doctor” so get your minds out of the gutter), and we played in the snow.  What a great time we had!  Three year olds can be so much fun.  Now if the rest of my family could learn to be as much fun, it wouldn’t have only been a wonderful Christmas, but a Christmas Miracle, LOL.

I was told there would be 12-18 inches of snow in the northeast today through Monday.  I would love to be snuggled up to someone as it snows outside, but I am here with my coffee and just relaxing by myself instead.  Though my cat just drank some of my coffee, she will probably be bouncing off the walls soon.  I’ve never known of a cat that loved coffee like she does.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas.  What did you do this Christmas? Is there anything that made it particularly special for you?  Is it snowing where you are? 


THE DIGITAL STORY OF THE NATIVITY

THE DIGITAL STORY OF THE NATIVITY

How social media, web and mobile tell the story of the Nativity.
Christmas story told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon…

Times change, the feeling remains the same.


Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men

The Story of the Birth of Christ
 
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Matthew 1:18-2:12

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.   And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

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Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Luke 2:1-20

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And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.   And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.   And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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I was never a huge Peanuts (Charlie Brown) fan, but since I was a child, when I hear Luke Chapter 2 read, I always hear it in Linus’s voice.  So here is Linus explaining the meaning of Christmas.
 
Linus Explains Christmas

Thank You All and Merry Christmas

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In an effort to thank all of those who read and support my blog, I am going to endeavor to give each of you a special Christmas song.  The other day, I was discussing with Bobby of My Big Fat Greek Gay Blog about what to get my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas.  He suggested the best gift of all, “My undying love and dedication.”  It’s a beautiful sentiment, but I think I will give them a gift card instead.  However, I want you all to know that you have my undying love and dedication.  Thank you all for reading and for your friendship.
 
For Bobby, Καλά Χριστούγεννα! and here is Bruce Springsteen & E.-Street Band singing “Merry Christmas Baby” Live on Conan Dec 12, 2002:
 
Bruce Springsteen & E.-Street Band ** Merry Christmas Baby ** Live
 
For Fan of Casey, Mele Kalikimaka:
 
Bing Crosby – Mele Kalikimaka
 
For Mike, Mark, and Jayson who are on the west coast, I present “White Christmas” which had this as the original first verse (One story is that Irving Berlin wrote it in 1940, poolside at the Biltmore hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.):
The sun is shining, the grass is green,
The orange and palm trees sway.
There’s never been such a day
in Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it’s December the twenty-fourth,—
And I am longing to be up North—
Diana Krall – White Christmas
 
For Jay in VA, Justin, Crotchdiver, Uncutplus and all of my blog friends in the South, it wouldn’t be Christmas without “Christmas in Dixie”:
 
Christmas in Dixie
 
For Denis and Doug in the Great White North (AKA Canada), I want to present you with Enrico Caruso’s O Holy Night (1916 in original French):
 
Enrico Caruso – O Holy Night (1916 in original French)
 
I also want to wish Buon Natale to (In)consapevole. And a Merry Christmas to my favorite storyman Jay and to bignate.

 

If I left anyone out, I am truly sorry because the sentiment goes for all of my readers, those who comment and those who don’t.  These were just the ones I knew off the top of my head where they are.
 
Merry Christmas to all!
 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year; Geseënde Kersfees en ‘n gelukkige nuwe jaar; Mahigugmaon nga Bag-ong Dag-on kinyo tanan!; Gëzuar Krishtlindjet e Vitin e Ri Aleut Kamgan Ukudigaa; E güeti Wïnâchte un e gleckichs Nej Johr; መልካም ገና; መልካም አዲስ አመት ; Gozhqq Keshmish; أجمل التهاني بمناسبة الميلاد و حلول السنة الجديدة; Շնորհավոր Ամանոր և Սուրբ Ծնունդ; Շնորհաւոր Նոր Տարի եւ Սուրբ Ծնունդ:; Բարի կաղանդ և ամանոր; Bones Navidaes y Gayoleru añu nuevu!; Zorionak eta urte berri on; Божым нараджэннем ; শুভ বড়দিন ; Sretan Bozic i sretna nova godina; Nedeleg laouen ha bloavezh mat; Честита Коледа ; Bon Nadal i feliç any nou ; ᏓᏂᏍᏔᏲᎯᎲ & ᎠᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎢᏤ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᎠᏌᏗᏒ; 聖誕節同新年快樂; Sèng-tàn-chiat Khòai-lo̍k (聖誕節快樂; Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito; Afvcke Nettvcakorakko; Sretan Božić!; Sretna Nova godina!; Veselé vánoce a šťastný nový rok; Glædelig jul og godt nytår; Prettige kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!; Maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon!; Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta; Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar; Noflike Krystdagen en folle lok en seine; Joyeux Noël et bonne année ; Bon Nadâl e Biel An Gnûv!; Bo Nadal e próspero aninovo; გილოცავთ შობა-ახალ წელს; Froue Weihnåcht’n, und a guad’s nei’s Joah; Frohe Weihnachte unn ein gudes neus Jahr; Καλά Χριστούγεννα!; Juullimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit; Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou; חג מולד שמח ושנה טובה; शुभ क्रिसमस; Kellemes karácsonyt és boldog új évet; Gleðileg jól og farsælt komandi ár; Selamat hari natal dan tahun baru Inonhan Malipayon nga Paskwa kag Masadya nga Bag-ong Tuig sa inyo tanan; Nollaig shona duit; Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo; メリークリスマス; QISmaS DatIvjaj ‘ej DIS chu’ DatIvjaj; 즐거운 성탄절 보내시고 새해 복 많이 받으세요; Natale hilare et annum faustum ; كریسمس مبارک; Feliz Natal e próspero ano novo; С наступающим Новым Годом; God jul och gott nytt år; Maligayang Pasko, Manigong bagong taon

Coming Out at Christmas

Coming Out at Christmas – London Gay Men’s Chorus
When I came out (albeit, under duress) to my parents, it was a Christmastime.  It was not my choice, and I would have either chosen a better time or never told them at all.  I can’t say that coming out at Christmas is the best time, but it is up to you.  There is always drama to coming out, even if your family is very accepting, it is still dramatic to you.  If you are going home to spend time with your family, or seeing family you don’t see often, then the holidays are full of drama as well.  Needless to say, that Christmas 6 years ago today when my parents found out I was gay was dramatic.

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