Monthly Archives: April 2020

Pic of the Day

When Did You Realize You Were Gay?

I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. Depictions of gay people were not flattering. It seemed to me and from what my mother told me (She was a public health nurse.), all gay men had AIDS. The very few gay men I knew did die of AIDS, though it was rarely spoken about. Other depictions of gay men were flamboyant queens, sissy effeminate men, etc.

Early on, I had hints I was gay, but I ignored them. I remember being enthralled by Harry Hamlin in Clash of the Titans which came out in 1981; It was years later, though, when I first saw it on TV. When I started middle school, there was a new guy in my class. As usual, people were picking on me, and he told them to stop. He was the kind of guy who you knew immediately was going to be the leader of the pack. He was athletic, and my classmates didn’t question him. He was blond and had beautiful blue eyes. I had a crush, and I didn’t even know it. We were friends all through the rest of school; not close friends, but enough that when someone tried to bully me, he’d scare them away. Even the older kids didn’t mess with him. He was not a bully, but people respected him. He was just a nice guy. I had all sorts of fantasies about him. He was my masturbation material in my teenage years, yet, I did not realize I was gay.

When I was in college, I wanted to learn more about being gay, so I went to Barnes and Noble. Not only did I know this is where a lot of gay men hung out, but B&N also had books on the subject. I had to be discreet, though. The first “gay” book I bought was Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. In hindsight, that was not the best choice. It’s a good book, but it has a tragic ending. Early gay fiction nearly always had tragic endings. This kept the realization I was gay at bay even longer.

Slowly, however, I was coming to the conclusion I was in fact gay. I got some gay videos through the mail, and I read Brad Gooch’s Finding the Boyfriend Within: A Practical Guide for Tapping into Your Own Source of Love, Happiness, and Respect. Apparently, I had to learn to love myself. In college, I had a girlfriend. When we broke up, I realized I didn’t want to date girls anymore. Yet, I still couldn’t admit to myself I was gay. One summer I was housesitting for the dentist my aunt worked for. My college roommate (We lived together all four years.) was taking summer classes and living in the dorm. Therefore, we were both in Montgomery. We decided to get together at the house I was staying at and have some beers. We were getting drunk and started playing truth or dare. During the game, I admitted I wanted to suck a guy’s dick. I knew I was basically asking if I could give him a blowjob, but he didn’t take the bait. Eventually, we both went to sleep; me in one of the bedrooms, him on the couch.

It was during this time of housesitting when I got to really play on the internet for the first time. It was dial-up so it was slow, but I was able to find lots of pictures of naked men. I printed out a few to keep. This got me into trouble because my mother found them and confronted me. It was an ugly scene; I denied I was gay. I said I was only curious. From then on, she suspected I was gay, and it made me go into the closet even further. I wasn’t about to admit I was gay at that point.

I don’t know which book I eventually read (I did a lot of reading on the subject of being gay, and I have always been a consummate researcher.), but I remember reading you had to come out to yourself before you could come out to others. You had to accept yourself for who you were first. This was a difficult thing for me to do. I just couldn’t be gay. I couldn’t be all the horrible things I had been called growing up: fag, faggot, queer, homo, sissy, etc. I didn’t want to be that.

But then things began to change when I went to graduate school. I was finally on my own and away from everyone I knew. For the first time, I was safe. The move was only from Alabama to Mississippi, but it was so different being on a liberal university campus. I felt free.

I think my first honest moment of realization came sometime during the year 2000. The British show Queer as Folk had come out. Plus, there was an American show about sex I had been watching. It may have been Real Sex on HBO; I can’t remember. But whatever the show, it was discussing this shocking scene from British TV in which a guy is rimmed. I’d never heard of rimming, at least not being called that. I remember hearing one of my female friends talking about a boyfriend of hers who would move from eating her pussy to eating her ass. This fascinated me, but I never knew what it was called. So…when this show featured the scene from the first episode of Queer as Folk where Aiden Gillen licks down Charlie Hunnam’s back and reaches his butt, and there is a look of total ecstasy on Hunnam’s face (Yes, I know it was acting.), I was so turned on. I knew I desperately wanted to have that done to me. That’s when the realization hit that I might be gay.

Sometime in 2001, I finally admitted to myself I was gay. I was reading a lot about gay people. There was a story on Nifty Archives, an online site for posting stories (Do any of you remember it?), called “Educating Alex.” I remember I read the whole thing in one night and then couldn’t wait for future installments to come out. I joined InsightOut Book Club, a gay book-of-the-month club. I read all I could get my hands on. I mostly read in the summer months, though, because I just didn’t have time to read anything non-school related during the academic year. Reading positive stories about gay people allowed me to realize I could be gay, and, I could be happy.

Lately, Twitter has had people posting when they realized they were gay. It’s usually pictures of TV or movie scenes. Most of it is somewhat lighthearted. If I were to answer that question, it would be with the picture above of Charlie Hunnam’s face when Aiden Gillen first teaches him what rimming is.

So that’s my story. When did you realize you were gay?

Pic of the Day

What to Do with Disappointment

“… casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you” (1 Pet. 5:7).

One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in this life is disappointment. You put your hope, your faith, and your emotions into something only to see it crumble. Everyone will experience disappointment on some scale; it is what you do with disappointment that has the power to shape your present and your future.

When you experience disappointment, the enemy will try to sow seeds of doubt and unbelief into the very root of how you see God, seeds that can produce a massive rift in your relationship with Him. What you believe about the nature of God has everything to do with how you respond to pain. You can either walk away from God in bitterness or you can turn to Him when you need Him most.

No matter what you face, if you stand on the truth that God is unchanging, you can go through any storm and not be overcome.

It is perfectly normal to experience all the emotions that come with disappointment; you should embrace this part of the process. But the real triumph comes in holding on to the belief that God fully loves you and is wholly good, despite what your circumstances look like.

The ability to walk through an array of difficulties and hold to the truth of God’s goodness and love comes from a place of experiential knowledge, which comes from an intimate relationship with the Creator.

Today, cling to the knowledge that God loves you through and through. Hand over your heavy burdens to Him and find rest.

Pic of the Day

Moment of Zen: Good Lighting

Pic of the Day

A Commentary That I Wanted to Share

I read this yesterday, and the commentator made some interesting points. So, I wanted to share. I’m not sure I fully agree with everything, but I’d like to know what y’all think.

If HIV was God’s punishment for gays, then coronavirus is punishment for conservative Christians


You couldn’t swing a cat in the 90s without hitting an evangelical who believed HIV was God’s punishment for homosexuality. But that logic isn’t on their side today.


Commentary by Mark Segal Wednesday, April 15, 2020


When it comes to the pandemic, I can offer two truths: we are all in this together and this will come to an end, even though we don’t know when that will be or what life will be like afterwards.


Despite those truths, religious extremists are blaming the virus – as they do with all the ills of the world – on the LGBTQ community. But if you take their own hateful rhetoric the facts actually show the reverse.


Here’s the way it almost always goes. They blame it on the San Francisco liberals. All sins start in that bastion of homosexuals.


Fundamentalists apparently consider San Francisco the capital of the LGBTQ world. This all started with the AIDS crisis when evangelicals said that God proved his anger at homosexuals by putting that plague on their capital city.


Now those conservative Christians are saying that COVID-19 is God’s revenge on a world that accepts gays.


So, according to their logic, if God showed his anger on the issue of LGBTQ equality by striking San Francisco with AIDS, then God must now be angry with religious people by striking the headquarters of the world’s religions with the COVID-19: Rome, headquarters of Catholics; Athens, the headquarters of Greek Orthodoxy; Moscow, the headquarters of Russian orthodoxy; London, home of the Anglican communion; Mecca, home of Muslims; Jerusalem, home of Jewish faith; and Salt Lake City, home of the Mormons.


Now let’s compare and see what God’s wrath is. San Francisco has under 1000 cases and only 12 deaths. All of the headquarters cities of the world’s major religions, religions that at one point or another have discriminated against the LGBTQ community, have more cases and more deaths than San Francisco. San Francisco is the least affected of all the cities.


As the extremists always say: God’s plagues are aimed at those who utter hate speech against their chosen followers. It turns out, in this case, the chosen people is the LGBTQ community.


And that’s not getting into how churches have become hotbeds of coronavirus transmission while some church leaders defy social distancing rules to continue holding services, with some tragic results.


I don’t take any of this lightly. We’re going through a tough time unlike any other. Times like this are times to band together.


So, to those preachers still spreading hate, I say: stop blaming people and start helping people. Your homophobic sermons only harm your followers by spreading misinformation.


The truth is, we’re all here to help one another. That’s how you get through a moment like this.

We in the gay community have understood that since day one. We know the value of working together, and we’ve seen that it works.


Pic of the Day


Somedays you just have nothing to contribute. This is one of those days for me. I just couldn’t think of anything I wanted to say. I’ve felt all week like I’ve just been worthless. I’ve tried to keep busy with work, but I’m not being terribly productive. Maybe today will be different.