Monthly Archives: June 2011

New Mobile Version

Just a quick note for you guys, this blog is now mobile ready. Either click Mobile Version in the top right corner under “View On Your Mobile Device” or go directly to the mobile site by using this link: http://closetprofessor.blogspot.com/?m=1.  Now you can take The Closet Professor anywhere.


Twenty Inspirational Quotes

Quote, Unquote

Not all of the quotes below are necessarily gay quotes, some of them just seem to speak to me, but most of them are about homosexuality.  I hope you enjoy them.  Sometimes I just love a great quote.
  1. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.—Dr. Seuss
  2.  Homosexuality is god’s way of insuring that the truly gifted aren’t burdened with children.Sam Austin
  3.  If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. —Johann von Goethe
  4.  Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality—James Baldwin
  5.  If homosexuality is a disease, let’s all call in queer to work: “Hello. Can’t work today, still queer.” —Robin Tyler
  6.  If horse racing is the sport of kings, then drag racing must be the sport of queens. —Bert R. Sugar
  7.  If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered. —Robin Tyler
  8.  I’m a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being… by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant. —Paul Newman
  9.  It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy. —Lucille Ball
  10.  Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich were shaking hands congratulating themselves on the introduction of an antigay bill in Congress. If it passes, they won’t be able to shake hands, because it will then be illegal for a prick to touch an asshole. —Judy Carte
  11.  Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.Benjamin Disraeli
  12.  Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.Harvey Fierstein
  13.  No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.Rita Mae Brown
  14.  Straight Americans need… an education of the heart and soul. They must understand – to begin with – how it can feel to spend years denying your own deepest truths, to sit silently through classes, meals, and church services while people you love toss off remarks that brutalize your soul.Bruce Bawer
  15.  The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.Lynn Lavner
  16.  The next time someone asks you, “Hey, howdja get to be a homosexual anyway?” tell them, “Homosexuals are chosen first on talent, then interview… then the swimsuit and evening gown competition pretty much gets rid of the rest of them.”Karen Williams
  17.  We are not the first but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentleman, by two unstopable forces: freedom and equalityJose Luis Rodrigueaz, Prime Minister of Spain (In speech given after Spain legalized gay marriage)
  18.  What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947)
  19.  I don’t think homosexuality is a choice. Society forces you to think it’s a choice, but in fact, it’s in one’s nature. The choice is whether one expresses one’s nature truthfully or spends the rest of one’s life lying about it.Marlo Thomas
  20.  Homosexuality, is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce. —Plato

Take the Test

 
I got:

Score:
84
Gay gay gay.
You’ve earned your Card. Carry it proudly, you fine queen.

I don’t tend to think of myself as “Gay gay gay” but who knows, LOL.

Take the test and see what you get: http://getyourgaycard.com/.


Barefoot in the Summer

Chestnuts, Burrs, and Leaves

In honor of the official beginning of summer (though with this heat it has been here for a while now), I want to start off my summer poetry series with two poems about being barefoot. As a child of the South, we rarely ever played outside without being barefoot. Shoes were worn when we were going somewhere or when company was coming. I do remember one time when I truly wished I had not been barefoot. My grandparents had a chestnut tree. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with chestnut trees, but chestnuts grow inside burrs (see the picture on the right), which look like little porcupines. A group of us kids were playing around the chestnut tree, climbing it and fooling around. Stupidly we were barefoot, but being barefoot made climbing a tree easier. When we were down on the ground, I was backing up (I think my sister was threatening me). I stepped on one of these burrs. Hundreds of the little thorns went into the bottom of my foot. It took my grandfather and father all day and much of the night to get most of them out. A few that got really embedded in my foot didn’t come out for months and sometimes even years. It was not one of my finer moments.

Chestnut Tree

So in honor of those barefoot days of summer, here are some poems that I hope you will enjoy.

The Barefoot Boy by John Greenleaf Whittier

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!

Barefoot Days by Rachel Field

In the morning, very early,
That’s the time I love to go
Barefoot where the fern grows curly
And the grass is cool between each toe,
On a summer morning – O!
On a summer morning!
That is when the birds go by
Up the sunny slopes of air,
And each rose has a butterfly
Or a golden bee to wear;
And I am glad in every toe –
Such a summer morning – O!
Such a summer morning!
For more information about the poets who wrote these poems, click “Read More” below.

John Greenleaf Whittier
The first poem “The Barefoot Boy” is by John Greenleaf Whittier (born Dec. 17, 1807, near Haverhill, Mass., U.S. — died Sept. 7, 1892, Hampton Falls, Mass.), a U.S. poet and reformer. A Quaker born on a farm, Whittier had limited education but was early acquainted with poetry. He became involved in journalism and published his first volume of poems in 1831. During 1833 – 42 he embraced the abolitionism of William Lloyd Garrison and became a prominent antislavery crusader. Thereafter he continued to support humanitarian causes while publishing further poetry volumes. After the Civil War he was noted for his vivid portrayals of rural New England life. His best-known poem is the nostalgic pastoral “Snow-Bound” (1866); others include “Maud Muller” (1854) and “Barbara Frietchie” (1863).
The second poem, “Barefoot Days” is by Rachel Lyman Field (September 19, 1894 – March 15, 1942), an American novelist, poet, and author of children’s fiction. She is best known for her Newbery Medal–winning novel for young adults, Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, published in 1929. Field was born in New York City, and, as a child, contributed to the St. Nicholas Magazine. She was educated at Radcliffe College. Field was also a successful author of adult fiction, writing the bestsellers Time Out of Mind (1935), All This and Heaven Too (1938), and And Now Tomorrow (1942). She is also famous for her poem-turned-song “Something Told the Wild Geese”. Field also wrote the English lyrics for the version of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria used in the Disney film Fantasia (film). Field married Arthur S. Pederson in 1935, with whom she collaborated in 1937 on To See Ourselves. She died in Los Angeles, California on March 15, 1942, of pneumonia following an operation.

Born This Way



To say that this video is a little odd would be an understatement; however, I think that the message is well worth it.  I’m not a Lady Gaga fanatic by any means, though I do like her songs.  This song, from her album by the same title, seems to be written for us, take the line “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen.”  I love that. Then again, I may just be a little odd as well.  On Saturday night, I saw Lady Gaga on The Graham Norton Show on BBCAmerica, and though she dresses outlandishly and has some weird videos, she appeared to actually be a very nice simple person at heart.  Something I think we should all aspire to be.  I was actually quite impressed with her. I had seen her on other shows and thought she was just too outlandish, but this changed my mind about her as a person (grant it, I don’t know her from Adam’s house cat, but she seemed nice).


Kitty Empire of The Observer writes of the album’s music, “Born This Way runs big, timeless American themes – freedom, self-actualisation, the romance of the road, the Boss, even Neil Young – through the pointy prism of decadent European dance music.” Dan Martin of NME views the album’s sound as a departure from her last two albums and a reflection of Gaga’s fanbase, stating “she wants to weld physically to her synthesisers as if to create one all-powerful dreadnought of self-empowerment. For the most part this is one relentless torrent of heavy-metal-rave-pop. At the very least it’s a triumph in sound engineering.” The song “Born This Way” is about how everybody is equal, regardless of the color of their skin, their sexuality or their creed, and that every single person can fulfil their dream. The song, which has been compared with Madonna’s “Express Yourself”, was written by Gaga and Jeppe Laursen and was produced by Lady Gaga, Jeppe Laursen, Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow. The “Government Hooker” producer, DJ White Shadow, called it a thumping and sexy track. He said to MTV News: “To me, that song is my favorite song, and it’s just a beast. I don’t even know how to clarify it. [Born This Way] is not a pop baby book; it’s a pop masterpiece of composition. If there was no category of pop composition, you wouldn’t call it pop composition.” He also revealed that they were in this studio in Vegas, and he was playing some “hip-hop stuff” and they [DJ Shadow and Vince] were talking about quicker songs, so Shadow sped it up and played it for Vince. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_This_Way)


And you know what, I do believe we are born this way; we are born to be gay.  Would any of us chosen to live the often difficult life of being gay, if we were not “born this way.”  I love men, so don’t get me wrong, but life would have been a whole lot easier if I had been born straight, or if (heaven forbid, I love my penis) that I had been born a woman.  I wasn’t; I was born gay.  Nothing could change that and nothing will.  Whether I ever find the man who I will live the rest of my life with, I don’t know.  I hope, but that is for the future is not ours to see. Que sera, sera. 


I had actually planned on starting a series of posts on religion and coming out for today, but the posts are not yet where I want them to be, so I decided to hold off and maybe start them next Sunday.  So stay tuned.  I know that some of you are not religious. You have questioned me about this before and to some extent criticized me for my Christianity. I won’t be apologetic about it. I do hope that all of you will read these coming posts and that we can have a genuine discussion.  It has been an interesting journey of research and reflection that I want to share with you. More on that later.


Happy Father’s Day!!!

I know there are at least a few dads out there who read my blog, maybe even two gay dads out there raising sons and/or daughters, and I want to wish you a very Happy Father’s Day.  Just like mothers, fathers can drive us crazy.  Most of us may not have been as close to our fathers as maybe we should have been or should be, but all of us have a father somewhere.  Besides wishing you fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day, I also wanted to tell you about my father.

We are very different in so many ways.  He is very outdoorsy: he hunts, he fishes, and constantly works outdoors.  I was always a book worm, who liked books better than sports.  I’ve learned to like the outdoors:  I walk nature trails, I like to hike, and I even like to fish occasionally.  Whereas my father worked outside all his life, I prefer to work inside, research, writing, teaching, etc.  There are a lot of other differences as well.  We can generally have a conversation for about 15-20 minutes before we get into some type of argument.  My father has never felt I was right about anything.  I can be agreeing with him, and he will fuss at me for agreeing with him.  No matter what I say, he will say the opposite.  The other day, I made a remark about a house being painted white (it used to be gray), he argued with me that the house was painted gray, just a lighter shade.  Everyone else I know says the house is white, but he still says that it is gray.  It’s that sort of thing that drives me crazy.  Needless to day, we barely get along.  I love him nonetheless, I just don’t like him sometimes.  He can be very cruel and frustrating.

To switch gears a little bit, I want to tell you also how great my father can be, without me ever knowing it.  This is part of the reason that I forgive so much of the misery he causes me.  When my parents found out I was gay, it was a very traumatic experience for all concerned.  My mother had suspected for quite a while and was being very nosy.  She checked my email.  She didn’t like some of the emails that she saw.  Most of them, if not all, were fairly innocent, but there were some like an ad from Showtime about “Queer as Folk” and maybe another one from gay.com. I was over at my grandmother’s checking on her, when my mother called me and confronted me about it.  I was tired of denying it.  All of my friends knew, so why shouldn’t she.  I knew she wouldn’t like it.  She had confronted me several years before about it, and I denied it then.  I wasn’t ready, and to make sure that I never was, my mother told me, “If I would rather have a dick up my ass, then be part of this family, then I should go ahead and leave.  They would have nothing more to do with me.”  When this time came around, we got into a huge argument.  I yelled, she yelled, and I left.  I was still dependent on them for some things, but I could live without them.  My mother went to bed and cried for the next two weeks.  BTW, this all happened two days before Christmas, while I was home on Christmas break.  When my father got home, he talked to my mother about what was wrong.  She told him.  She tells him everything. This was one of the times when he sided with me.

He told my mother, that I was there child.  She could not stop loving me, just because she did not agree with my lifestyle. He would continue to love me, and she would have to do the same.  No matter what his children did, they would still love them (it may have helped that my sister married a complete and total jackass, who doesn’t physically abuse her, but abuses her mentally).  Then he  came and talked with me.  He told me that he didn’t care what I told my mother, but to tell her something or she would die in that bed in there (you don’t know my mother, but she would have).  Then he told me what surprised me the most, “I should have taught you how to fight the urges.  I am sorry that I failed you.”  It is the only time my father ever apologized to me for anything.  I never asked about the urges, but I am pretty sure I know what he was talking about.  He knew exactly how I felt.  He had been there himself, but he had chosen a different path.  Maybe that is why they still believe it is a choice.  But I see the misery in him almost everyday.  I went to my parents and told them both that I was celibate and would remain that way, and I had never acted on my sexuality (yes it was a lie, but it was one I think was and still is for the better).  They made me promise that I would not tell anyone else in the family, and I have agreed to that. Our family has become a “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t discuss” Zone.  It is not my preference but it is what I must deal with for the time being.  If I ever find a man to live my life with, I will deal with the other consequences then.  I don’t think I could hide from my family the love of my life (if he ever comes along).

They still consider my being gay a lifestyle choice, I never will.  I would have never chosen this myself.  I would have chosen to live a more open life, but that is mostly not possible where I live now, and especially not with my job.  But I know what makes me happy, and after a lot of prayer and meditation, God told me that love is what matters most in this world.  I came to understand that if I lived a lie and married a woman, I would make her and my life miserable (somewhat like my father has).  If I was going to be alone, then I would be alone. At least I wouldn’t be hurting someone else.  I realize that some people had more pressures to get married and have a family and come out later in life.  I do not fault them for that, it was a different time and different circumstances.  But in this day and age, I felt I could not lie to myself or anyone else and spend a large portion of my life as a lie.

Dolly lends her vocals for a live version of Holly Dunn’s timeless classic song, “Daddy’s Hands.”  This song reminds me a lot of my Daddy for many reasons and has been one of my favorite songs for a long time.  Holly Dunn is also one of my all-time favorite country singers, too bad she had retired from country music.  She’s now an artists in the Southwest.

Reba McEntire singing “The Greatest Man.”  This is a truly great song and also describes my relationship between me and my Daddy, although I don’t know if he thinks I “hung the moon.”  My mother always says he brags about me to everyone, but I also remember him telling me once when I made a 99 (out of 100) on my report card, “Can’t you do better than that.”  He was kidding with me, but it didn’t feel like it at the time, especially since some of my grades on that report card were above 100.  Also, my Daddy is still alive, but he is one of the greatest men I have ever known.  I hope this post proves that.

Some of you may have read much of this post before.  I not only used it for my Father’s Day post last year on my other blog, but I also used much of this text in one of my coming out posts.  I still think that it is a fitting tribute to my father, and I plan to use it each Father’s Day for as long as this blog is published.

Moment of Zen: The Pineapple


The pineapple has long been a popular symbol of hospitality and friendship. This symbolism has a lengthy history beginning when Christopher Columbus and his men landed on the island now known as Guadeloupe on their second voyage of discovery. In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the fruit back to Europe from his voyage through the Carib Islands. This tropical king of fruits was crowned the “pineapple” by the English because of its resemblance to a pine cone and its juicy center, which reminded them of an apple.
To the Carib, the pineapple symbolized hospitality, and the Spaniards soon learned they were welcome if a pineapple was placed by the entrance to a village. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to Colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of a plantation. Families often put a fresh pineapple in the center of the table when they had visitors. This was not only a colorful centerpiece but symbolized the greatest welcome and hospitality to the visitor. The fruit would then be served after the meal as a special desert.

I remembered learning this at a tour of a plantation:  When guest would come over to spend a few days, they were greeted with a pineapple. But if they over stayed their welcome, they would find half a pineapple at the foot of their bed. This was an unspoken signal that it was time for them to leave.


Thank goodness, the guy in the picture above seems to be welcoming us.
Text Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1044420


Vintage Homoerotic Ads

I recently came across this article by the Huffington Post titled “The Most Homoerotic Vintage Ads of All Time.”  I used some of the ads featured in the Huffington Post article, but with a little searching, I found a few of my own to share with you.  Oh the olden days, when men were men… who showered together. Soap seems to be the number one add, but there are a few others.  There’s nothing funnier than unintentionally sexual ads, except maybe unintentionally sexual vintage ads. I’ve scoured the very back-ends of the Internet to bring you the best in early “hidden” homoerotica.

1942_TSN_Lifebuoy
The US military had to have some way to advocate safe sex.  One of the ads below is such an ad for safe sex, though it is more homoerotic than public service announcement.  I remember doing research one time on American soldiers in the First World War.  The head of the French army asked the American General Pershing if he would like the French to set up brothels for the American soldiers (this was customary with the French military so that they could monitor the prostitutes health).  Pershing declined but begged the French general to never mention this to President Wilson, or he would withdraw American from the war.  Wilson (if you know much about him) was a bit of a prude.
armyfisher
During World War II, it seems that Cannon Towels nearly cornered the market with their homoerotic ads of soldiers bathing together.  There is even at least one soldier dancing.
armycannontowels2_oRB43_19672crocodileskeepout1-thumb-575x790_1Naqi_19672
Ivory Soap had its fair share as well.  I guess they needed soap that floats because they didn’t want hands wandering to places that might seem inappropriate.  Ivory Soap just took all the fun out of it.
IvoryGay1ivory-homoerotic-advertising
Underwear and sleepwear seem to have worked their unintentional magic as well.  Underwear advertisements have always been homoerotic in my opinion.
Scandals1940s1940sTextron
And with bananas, there is always a hidden joke.  Make sure that you read full advertisement.
slide_9062_126978_large

Of course, no one did homoerotic ads like Abercrombie & Fitch would do later in the early 2000s. Click on “Read more »” below to take a trip down memory lane with the photography of Bruce Weber and A&F Quarterly.

a-f-quarterly-summer-2-

It always amazed me that they were advertising for clothes that the models were often not wearing.  For that matter, most of the models were barely dressed at all.  They sure did have some great campaigns though, and they were quite effective at recasting A&F from an expensive outdoorsy clothing company to a hip and modern clothing company for young people.

6a00e54ecca8b988330133f215359a970b-450wi32741anf2BruceWeber7tumblr_ljtb9t5PLN1qb0xwgo1_500Justin Falkowitzuntitledddbruce-weber-abercrombie-fitch-screen-test-L-1

Dorothy Parker

Most people don’t identify Dorothy Parker as a gay icon, but I think she should be.  Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Her letters, short stories, and articles are all brilliantly witty and I strongly recommend her work!  She is probably best known for her witty remarks, which are some of my favorites.  She was the ultimate smartass, with a quick wit, and I only wish I was as great a wordsmith as she was.  Here are her top twenty quotes from Listverse, though I have revised it by substituting a few with my favorites that they did not mention (including the first):

  1. Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.
  2. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.
  3. You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.
  4. I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more.
  5. I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound — if I can remember any of the damn things.
  6. That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.
  7. I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.
  8. Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.
  9. Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.
  10. The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.’
  11. The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
  12. I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.
  13. All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends.
  14. I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.
  15. Ducking for apples — change one letter and it’s the story of my life.
  16. I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.
  17. If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
  18. When asked to use the word horticulture during a game of Can-You-Give-Me-A-Sentence, Parker replied: You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.
  19. Of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Parker said: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”
  20. I’ve been too fucking busy – or vice versa. (in response to a letter from her editor asking for more stories during her honeymoon)

Rugby: Homoerotic?

First of all, is there a sport out there more homoerotic than rugby?  For me, well maybe baseball and/or lacrosse, but rugby, I think is still at the top.  My roommate in college played for our local rugby team, and he used to tell me about some of the traditions (such as ZULU, which was running around the pitch (field) naked after scoring your first try (points) and I used to have the camera of the pics of his ZULU, but I think he took it with him when he went home.  He was a sexy mofo, and I would have loved to have been there for that.)
Anyway, memories aside, I have to tell you guys about SHU Rugby.  SHU Rugby has been doing a nude fundraising calendar since 2001, and they have gotten me hot and bothered since then.  The guys at SHU Rugby were kind enough to let me use some of their pictures and to promote their Calendars and DVDs.  If you click on the link for SHU Rugby, you can purchase Calendars, Making of DVDs, and Photo CDs.  They are quite reasonably priced to ranging from £4.00-£7.00 + shipping and handling.  I know once you seen some of these pictures you will want one for yourself.  And if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post and click “more” there is a little exclusive for you guys.
I know this sounds like an advertisement, and basically it is, but I am not getting anything out of this.  The proceeds from the calendars and DVDs go to the club development fund which pays for training equipment, new kit, referee fees, coach, travel etc.  It also helps them to subsidize club fees so that they don’t lose players because a player can’t afford to come and play for them, and it also helps towards the fees for the coaching team.  It seems to be a great fundraiser for SHU Rugby and these pics are certainly “raising” something for me, and I hope for you too.  Enjoy the pics below and go help out SHU Rugby.
Click “more” below for the exclusive.

Here is the exclusive that I mentioned before.  This picture is a preview for their upcoming 2012 calendar.  I was told that this picture has not been released to anyone yet, so you will see it here first.  WOW!  My first exclusive (Actually, this picture was on my other blog first, but for those who did not see it there, this will be your first look).  Enjoy…