Saturday, November 17, 2007

Final Saturday Male Beauty

9/11 Firefighters and Family Members Plot Anti-Giuliani Ad Campaign

I will concede that I do not trust Rudy Giuliani and with former in-laws in New York City - some of whom lived near the WTC site and were exposed to the pollutants in the air - I am glad that someone is challenging Giuliani's sanitized version of events. His disgusting pandering to the Christianist far right is also a huge concern, as is his effort to out cowboy the Chimperator in bellicose foreign policy comments. Here are some highlights form an ABC News story (
A group of 9/11 firefighters and victims' family members with eyes on derailing Republican Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign is close to a decision on forming an entity that would run issue ads in key early nominating states. "TV made him a hero, and we'll use TV to take him down," New York Fire Chief Jim Riches told ABC News.

This Monday, the firefighters and family members are holding a meeting at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire hoping to spread the word about what they say is Giuliani's "egregious" use of 9/11 for political gain. The group also is considering additional trips to early presidential primary states Iowa, Florida and South Carolina. Riches, who lost his firefighter son Jimmy in the World Trade Center's north tower, said, "We don't want him running on 9/11 or the bodies of all these dead people or my dead son saying that he did a great job that day."

He and other members of the anti-Giuliani group claim 9/11 first responders were given bad radios and that that prevented them from hearing evacuation orders when the World Trade Center buildings were about to collapse. They also contend Giuliani rushed cleanup work and misled people about air quality at Ground Zero, where recovery workers, including Riches, say they contracted illnesses.

I also remember how my former father-in-law, a former top member of the FDNY Division of Safety, NEVER liked the World Trade Center and felt it's construction, fire suppression system, etc., was not what it should have been. He always contrasted the WTC with the Empire State Building which he thought was a wonderful structure, even though considerably older. For example, he would never go to Windows on the World at the top of the complex because of his issues with the WTC.

Pastor Calls On Conservatives To Buy Microsoft Shares To Topple Gay Rights Rule

Imagine if anti-gay bigot's like Ken Hutcherson (the face of hate is pictured at left) spent as much time truly preaching the gospels as they do sowing hatred and lies against other children of God. I truly hope Microsoft will continue to blow this asshole off. This jerk is anything but a Christian. I'd also like to know what type of luxurious lifestyle he may be enjoying as well from his ministry of hate. I also wonder how Hutcherson would feel about people using Bible verses to justify slavery and segregation? But then, these Christianists never want the same standard applied to them as they seek to apply to others. As with most of the loudest homophobes, Hutcherson is probably a self-loathing closet case who is taking his venom out on others who live their lives the way he secretly wishes he could but for his extremist religious indoctrination. Here are highlights from (

(Seattle, Washington) Gay rights foe Rev. Ken Hutcherson is calling on religious conservatives to buy stock in Microsoft so they can force a shareholders vote on the company's policy that provides equality for gay workers. Hutcherson, whose megachurch is a stone's throw from Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, caused a stir at the company's recent annual meeting, demanding the world's biggest computer company abandon its LGBT worker policy. Microsoft's directors urged shareholders to reject the attempt, and the issue failed to get enough support for a vote, but Hutcherson is undeterred.

He also told the paper that Microsoft is only the first public company he intends to target. "There are 256 Fortune 500 companies alone pouring millions upon millions of dollars into pushing the homosexual agenda," he told The Daily Telegraph. "I consider myself a warrior for Christ. Microsoft don't scare me. I got God with me. As for any comparison with LGBT rights and civil rights for African Americans, Hutcherson says there is none.

My Son - Saturday Evening Update

I spent pretty much the whole afternoon and early evening at Beach General visiting my son. His last blood work at 6:00 PM remains stable, so we are increasingly hopeful that no surgery will be required. He seems to be managing the pain pretty well and is not needing the morphine every two hours, which is also a good sign. We got to spend a couple hours alone and just talked about random things, some of his experiences when he was living in Portland, Oregon, and whatever came into out heads. It was very nice and I hope he felt that way too. I got another hug when I was leaving. I truly hope the reconnecting after the bitterness of the last 15 months has begun.

It was also weird at the end - the ex-wife came back by and she had a guy she has been dating with her. He seemed nice (although I am better looking, in my opinion) and everything remained cordial. I wasn't uncomfortable, but they may have been, and I had no intention of being chased off. I do want her to find happiness. The next blood work will be done at 2:00AM and I will be called if anything changes in a negative direction.
The photo above is of Peter from our wonderful trip in 2004 to British Columbia - probably the best trip of my life.

Saturday Male Beauty

Army Desertion Rate Up 80 Pct. Since 2003

This Washington Post story ( not come as any surprise given the fact that many in the military see a deployment to Iraq as a potential death sentence. Note that the increase over last year is up by 42%. When you add this factor to (a) the high number of younger career officers who are not re-enlisting and (b) the difficulty the military is experiencing in recruiting, it clearly demonstrates that the Chimperator and his delusional policies are doing "one heck of a job" in destroying the U. S. military. Here are some highlights:

WASHINGTON -- Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year.

"We're asking a lot of soldiers these days," said Roy Wallace, director of plans and resources for Army personnel. "They're humans. They have all sorts of issues back home and other places like that. So, I'm sure it has to do with the stress of being a soldier." According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.

The increase comes as the Army continues to bear the brunt of the war demands with many soldiers serving repeated, lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military leaders _ including Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey _ have acknowledged that the Army has been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the combat. Efforts are under way to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps to lessen the burden and give troops more time off between deployments.

Despite the continued increase in Army desertions, however, an Associated Press examination of Pentagon figures earlier this year showed that the military does little to find those who bolt, and rarely prosecutes the ones they find. Some are allowed to simply return to their units, while most are given less-than-honorable discharges.

Experienced Legal Services to the LGBT Community

Other bloggers from time to time hawk their products, so I figured I'd do a marketing post for the type of legal work that I can provide to members of the LGBT community who want an experienced, openly gay lawyer. Therefore, here's a run down of what types of work my practice includes. Anyone interested in legal services can e-mail me directly or via the firm website at Here's the summary of services:

Residential Real Estate: The firm routinely provides residential real estate services that have included:
· settlement services for hundreds of residential real estate transactions
· document preparation involved, but not been limited to, the preparation of documents ranging from residential purchase agreements, mortgage loan packages, deeds and deeds of trust, leases
· lease preparation and landlord/tenant advise
· boundary line agreements and assorted easement agreements
· document preparation services to local title insurance settlement agencies.

Commercial Real Estate: In the area of commercial real estate transactions, the firm handles:
· large numbers of commercial loan transactions secured by real estate holdings
· restructuring problem loans
· commercial real estate acquisitions and sales, ranging in size from single convenience stores to multiple television stations
· condominium law matters
· tax-exempt financing for the acquisition and construction of manufacturing facilities, solid waste disposal facilities
· tax-exempt and low income housing tax credit financing for multifamily housing facilities and elderly housing projects.

Corporate and Business Transactions: The firm has 30 years of experience in performing legal services for banking, commercial and corporate practice transactions, and has a recognized specialty practice in taxable and tax-exempt bond finance work. Among the areas where clients are provided experienced assistance are:
· Formation and administration of corporations and limited liability companies
· General and limited partnership formation and administration
· Business acquisitions and sales, including stock sales and asset sales
· Commercial real estate transactions, including acreage acquisition and subdivision matters
· Complex business finance transactions
· Low income housing tax credit financing under Section 42 IRC
· Tax exempt bond finance for manufacturing, air cargo and qualified housing projects

Estate Planning and Non-Traditional Family Law: The likewise has experience in assisting clients in preparing estate planning and related documents. In light of Virginia's "Marriage Amendment," there are some basic documents and steps that every unmarried couple, same-sex couple or not, should have prepared and duly signed. These include, but are not limited to:
· Wills - A will specifies how you wish your property to be distributed upon your death. In a will, you designate the person you wish to handle your estate -- your spouse, partner or another individual.
· Trust Agreements - A properly established and funded trust avoids publicly probating assets owned by the trust at the time of one’s death and is more difficult to challenge in court than a will. In addition, a trust can provide beneficiaries with creditor protection in certain circumstances.
· Medical Power of Attorney - A medical power of attorney allows one’s spouse, partner or other party to make medical decisions on one’s behalf in the event one is not able to do so due to in-competency or other incapacity. Properly drafted, a health care power of attorney can also ensure hospital visitation rights to the designated attorney-in-fact.
· Advanced Medical Directive - § 54.1-2983 of the Virginia Code provides that any mentally competent adult may, at any time, make a written advance directive (i) authorizing the providing, withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures in the event such person should have a terminal condition, and (ii) appointing an agent to make health care decisions for the declarant under the circumstances stated in the advance directive if the declarant should be determined to be incapable of making an informed decision.
· General/Business Power of Attorney - This form of power of attorney allows a member of either an unmarried couple or a same-sex couple to authorize their partner to handle their financial affairs in the event of disability or unavailability.

Firm experience in providing legal services concerning unmarried and gay relationship issues, also includes:
· property co-ownership and/or co-tenancy agreements
· equity sharing agreements
· the formation of contract based domestic partnerships and dissolution of the same
· parenting agreements and powers of attorney concerning non-adoptive minor children.

Thoughts of My Son - Saturday Mornng Update

First, I want to thank all of you who have either posted comments or e-mailed me directly. As always, my cyberspace family is there when I need them. I truly believe that prayers from across the world do help.
In any event, Peter made it through the night and right now (9:15 am on Saturday) they are leaning towards holding off on surgery. The doctors should decide in an hour or so for certain. I spoke with him on the phone a few minutes ago and he is pretty drugged up for the pain, but seems totally lucid. Not surprisingly, he did not get much sleep with them checking his vitals and taking blood every few hours too on top of that.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that this may in a strange way be a blessing in disguise in that it may well thaw what had been a bleak outlook for me emotionally for the Holidays. Pete did apologize for the nasty stuff that has gone on between us. I hope this will be the beginning of a a healing process that we all need badly. I know that I most surely need it.
I will post updates d regularly. I am going to do a little work on some wills and corporate documents and then go see him at the hospital.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thoughts of My Son - Update

It's after 11:30 PM and I am back from Virginia Beach General Hospital. The bike accident involved a wipe out after a chain on his bike popped loose which resulted in him having the end of the straight angle handle bar jab him hard in the stomach just under his ribs on his left side. Readers need to understand that Pete is a bicycling maniac and has ridden his bike from Richmond to Virginia Beach - i.e., over 100 miles - in a single day, so he is hard core. He is no sissy.
He is resting and sedated for pain and will be monitored over night and a determination made not later than tomorrow whether or not his spleen needs to come out. I hope an pray that it does not (1) because he'll recover faster and (2) because without a spleen one is more susceptible to infection, etc. If things change during the night, my ex-wife will call me since she lives much closer to the hospital and/or may decide to spend the night there.
Pete was in pretty good spirits - I guess morphine will do that - and very warm towards me. Needless to say when I hugged him before leaving I started to tear up, which I think he noticed. We just talked on the phone a minute ago too and I did start crying when he said he loved me. If nothing else, maybe this will help mend some of the mess left over from the divorce wars.
I will confess that it was weird sitting there in the room for over two hours with Pete and the ex-wife after not speaking for over a year and after all the nastiness. She was actually quite cordial. My youngest daughter (pictured with Peter in the prior post) blew in for a while too with one of her friends that we have known all her life, and caused some humor and laughter. Fortunately, Beach General is a good hospital - that's where my oldest was miraculously stabilized when she was stricken with meningitis in 1999 - and my sister is on staff there (and can access information and reports for us). She's confirmed that the surgeons that will operate if need be, are among those that she'd letter do surgery on her - always a good standard of approval. So now, it's a waiting game. NOT my strong suit.
The other irony is that while we were hanging out in Pete's room - they moved him to a floor from the ER - was that conversation came up about the former next door neighbors. Apparently the husband beat the daylights out of the wife while they were in California for a family event last week and put her in the hospital yet again. I guess he's being automatically charge under California law for assault or some other charge. Why she ever stayed with him baffles me. I find it especially ironic because he was SOOO nasty and hateful towards me after I came out and moved out. He sad nasty stuff about what I was doing to my family and the trauma I cuased pales compared to his behavior. I could not help but think that perhaps me being gay looked WAY better to the ex-wife and my son after this latest incident.

Thoughts of My Son

I just received a call from the ex-wife. My son (pictured above with my youngest daughter) has been in a bicycle accident and he is at the ER with a ruptured spleen. I am headed to the hospital in Virginia Beach now. Per the ex-wife, they are optimistic that they will not need to do any major surgery and he will be kept overnight for observation. Please keep Peter in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks.

Final Friday Male Beauty

C-IN2 is an Australian Underwear Brand. The contents look pretty hot.

Gay couples trigger debate at church

This story shows all too well the second class status gays receive at even tolerant parishes (It also makes me almost want to have a picture of Raymond and me taken for First Lutheran's next directory just to be perverse. I'm bad, I know). It is interesting that the Star-Telegram online poll ( shows that the largest number of readers voting favor having the gay couples' photos included in the directory. Here are some story highlights, but check out the full story so you can cast your online vote):
FORT WORTH -- A new pictorial directory was supposed to be part of Broadway Baptist Church's 125th birthday celebration. Established in 1882 near the infamous Hell's Half Acre, where gamblers and prostitutes once thrived, the church wanted to sing the praises of its missions and its members by publishing a book that included information about its programs and a directory featuring yearbook-style photographs of its members and families.

But since three gay couples asked to have their pictures included, Broadway Baptist has been involved in an increasingly divisive struggle over whether allowing the portraits to appear would be an endorsement of homosexuality by the congregation. The church will vote in December on a proposal to allow gay members to appear in individual photos, but not as couples. The directory is scheduled to be distributed next year. In that statement, [Pastor] Younger said that the church has had gay members for decades but that no couple had ever been pictured in the directory. He said to change directions would understandably be "troubling to many."

On the other hand, Younger wrote that other church members think that the congregation's gays, who "worship, serve and give just like everyone else," should not be treated like "second-class members." He went on to say that Broadway Baptist for years has had an "amazing policy on including gay people." "It's not a policy that a committee came up with, or the staff or the deacons," he wrote. "It's an unwritten policy that came out of the shared life of this congregation, a policy I believe was inspired by the Spirit. This has allowed us to be a congregation where the conversation can take place about being gay and being Christians."

David Reed, president of the Tarrant County Lesbian and Gay Alliance, said Broadway Baptist has struggled with the issue of gays in the church since the early 1990s, when Shoemaker was its pastor. "They have always dealt with it badly," he said. "They have always avoided the issue. They have always wanted to straddle this fence and never advocate on behalf of the gay members they know they have."

Bush will visit first Thanksgiving site - at Virginia's Berkeley Plantation

It looks like Virginia will have an extra turkey for Thanksgiving: the Chimperator plans to visit Berkley Plantation, ancestral home of the Harrison family. The only good thing will be that the visit will highlight the fact that Virginia - not the tight-assed Puritans in Massachusetts had the first Thanksgiving more than 2 years before the Massachusetts theocrats did.

Berkley (pictured above) is one of the magnificent plantations on the north side of the James River between Williamsburg and Richmond. Other famous structures include Westover Plantation, home of William Byrd, founder of Richmond, Shirley Plantation, and Sherwood Forest Plantation. One thing about Virginia is that one is always surrounded by notable historic sites. Here are some highlights from the Virginian Pilot coverage (
NORFOLK — President Bush will speak about Thanksgiving during a visit next week to a historic thanksgiving site — in Virginia, not Massachusetts. On Monday, the president will head to Berkeley Plantation, where English settlers held a thanksgiving service almost two years before the Pilgrims' feast in Massachusetts that came to be considered the first Thanksgiving.
Berkeley Plantation is on the banks of the James River, between Williamsburg, Virginia's Colonial capital, and Richmond, the state's capital today. When Capt. John Woodlief and his crew of 37 men came upon the site on Dec. 4, 1619, they fell to their knees and read a proclamation stating that the day of their ship's arrival should be "yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November to be a national holiday. With the South losing the war, the New England Thanksgiving tradition prevailed, although President John F. Kennedy did acknowledge Virginia in his 1963 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation that began: "Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving."
The country's first 10 presidents all spent time there [at Berkley]. The ninth president, William Henry Harrison, was born at Berkeley and wrote his inaugural address in an upstairs bedroom there. He gave the nearly two-hour speech on a cold, wet day, caught a cold that developed into pneumonia and died a month later. Lincoln also visited Berkeley, while Union troops were encamped there during the Civil War.

Church of Norway Ready to Ordain Priests in Same-sex Partnerships

I am currently a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - a sister church to the Church of Norway - although I have been giving some thought to going back to the Episcopal Church. Sadly, the ELCA has not had the courage to "do the right thing" when it comes to acceptance of gays as full church members, so hopefully as sister church DO "do the right thing," there will be increased pressure for the ELCA to act as Christ would act, and not continue to act as the bigoted, self-satisfied, self-righteous Pharisees would act. In my opinion, those in the ELCA who worry more about "church unity" than acting in a Christlike manner are basically hypocrites for whom I have little use. Generally, doing what's right is NEVER popular with the Pharisee crowd. Here are some highlights from PageOneQ's coverage (
Oslo (dpa) - The Church of Norway on Friday approved allowing priests to be ordained even if they live in same-sex partnerships. The general synod, highest decision-making body of the state Evangelical-Lutheran church, voted 50-34 to approve a new principle that stated that there were two opposite views, both based on church teachings, on same-sex relationships. Opponents had wanted to uphold the former praxis that prevented ordaining priests who live in registered same-sex partnerships.

The new principle would mean that decisions on hiring gay priests would be decided by the bishop - Norway has 11 - or the appointing church board. Some 80 per cent of the country's 4.7 million inhabitants are members of the Church of Norway. About one fifth of the 1,200 clergy are women.

More Friday Male Beauty

Affluent Voters Switch Brands - Stands on 'So-Called Moral Issues' Prove Costly for Republicans

It is about time that educated, affluent voters leave the anti-knowledge, anti-equality GOP and focus on those who seek to move the country forward, not back to the 19th Century. This Wall Street Journal story ( shows that the GOP's ties to the Christianist lunatic fringe are beginning to take a serious toll. I for one hope the trend continues unabated. Here are some story highlights:
Jim Kelley, . . . , looks like one of those plutocrats whom Democrats are talking about taxing more. He buys companies for the $7 billion private-equity firm Vestar Capital Partners, with headquarters on New York's Park Avenue. Mr. Kelley, 53, is writing big campaign checks for Barack Obama and other Democrats -- and taxes don't make his top 10 list of critical political issues.

In this newly competitive state and elsewhere, Republicans are struggling to reassure their nervous religious-right base, while Democrats are profiting from increasing support among high-income voters. And that support may be more impervious to warnings of higher taxes than some Republicans assume. "The Democratic Party stands more for creating equal opportunity," says Mr. Kelley. He says the party "speaks more to me on issues of the environment, and even more to me on national security," while he criticizes Republican stands on "so-called moral issues" such as gay marriage.

"There's a difference in the type of giver that I've seen," observes Kirk Dornbush, a veteran Democratic fund-raiser who runs an Atlanta-based biotechnology firm. In the past, he explains, affluent donors from business or the professions were often "people that needed access." Now, he says, Democrats are benefiting from concerns over America's "loss of standing in the world," Mr. Bush's environmental policies, and concern over the possibility of recession. An increasing number of high-income Americans "are yearning for something different. And something different is the Democrats."
"Twenty-five years could safely vote Republican and believe that their interests in business were going to be taken care of," says Neil Westergaard, editor of the Denver Business Journal. "As the Republican Party has changed, I think that became less [true]."

BREAKING: Reid shut downs Bush recess appointments during Thanksgiving

Finally!! The Democrats are not acting as door mats for the Chimperator. A statement from Senator Harry Reid:

The Senate will be coming in for pro-forma sessions during the Thanksgiving holiday to prevent recess appointments. My hope is that this will prompt the President to see that it is our mutual interests for the nominations process to get back on track. While an election year looms, significant progress can still be made on nominations. I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me half way. But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.

Friday Male Beauty

Homophobes Sully UVA's "Good Old Song"

As a double alumni of the University of Virginia and as a member of a family with ten (10) family members who are either graduates or current students of the University, it saddens me greatly that small minded individuals like Alex Cortez are sullying “The Good Old Song” and over a century of University tradition based upon their intolerant Christianist mentality.

Historically, after a Cavalier touchdown, the marching band strikes up what, to an outsider, sounds like “Auld Lang Syne.” But, to its tune, students and alumni sing the “Good Old Song,” its lyrics written by Edward A. Craighill in 1895, its mention of all being “bright and gay” a throwback to when “gay” meant “happy,” the line a launching pad for what’s since become a controvesial tradition on the part of some of negating the word “gay” with gleeful (often drunken) shouts of “not gay!”
Typical of this mind set is this: “I’m just expressing my religiously informed political views that it’s wrong to act homosexual,” Alex Cortes, a first-year student and the writer of “Not gay and proud of it,” said in an interview Wednesday.

In my view, Cortez is an asshole who, I might add, ought to be a bit more conscious of issues of discrimination: Given his last name, there was a day and time when HE would have been very much the subject to discrimination at UVA in its waspier era. But then, Christo-fascists think they have a license to discriminate, but no one else has a similar right. Happily, there is a counter campaign against the Christianists:
At a November 3 home game between Virginia and Wake Forest University, students distributed stickers that said, simply, “Where all is bright and gay,” in addition to an open letter explaining that the “not gay” chant “lends community support to harassment, violence and bigotry,” and can make an already marginalized group feel unsafe and uncomfortable. “We ask that you not only not say ‘not gay’ but hold your peers to the same standard. If you hear it, remind them why it is not acceptable and use it as an opportunity to educate our community on how we need to be open and inclusive,” the letter said.
Interestingly enough, the pastor of the university's Catholic parish condemned the "not gay" proponents in a column in the student news paper: More on the issue can be found here: For anyone interested, here are the words of the Good Old Song:
That Good Old Song of Wahoowa,
We'll sing it o'er and o'er.
It cheers our heart and warms the blood
To hear them shout and roar.
We come from old Virginia,Where all is bright and gay.
Let's all join hands and give a yell For dear old UVa.
What though the tide of years may roll
And drift us far apart,
For Alma Mater still there'll be
A place in ev'ry heart.
In college days we'll sing her praise,
And so, when far away,
In memory we still shall be
At the dear old UVa.(chant)

When the stadium of 40,000+ lets loose with the yell, it is really something

Dems Reportedly May Use Tactic To Thwart Bush Recess Appointment of Homophobic Surgeon General

Rumors have been circulating that the Chimperator may try to use a recess appointment tactic to move move forward on his appointment of wingnut Christianist James Holsinger to be Surgeon General. Frankly, I am getting very much over the Democrats lacking any balls and wringing their hands as Bush just brazens his way forward. If this tactic will blog someone clearly not qualified from being appointed, I am all for it. Here are some highlights from (

(Washington) Senate Democrats are reportedly considering a procedural maneuver to prevent President Bush from using using Congress's recess to skirt a vote on James Holsinger to be Surgeon General. Roll Call reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is considering technically cancelling the recess. According to the report Reid is mulling a "pro forma" session. In essence it would mean several members of the Senate would show up on the floor every three days keeping the Senate session alive. With no recess Bush would not be able to make a recess appointment.

During Senate health committee hearings on Holsinger's nomination committee chair Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), said he was worried that if confirmed, Holsinger would let his own ideological beliefs cloud his scientific judgment. He referred to the paper that Holsinger wrote on homosexuality for a study committee of the United Methodist Church. (story)

In a document titled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality," Holsinger stated that in his capacity as a physician biology and anatomy precluded considering LGBT equality in the United Methodist Church. In the document he took lengths to say that his opinion was his scientific view and that his theological views are separate.

Holsinger and his wife were founders of Hope Springs Community Church, in Lexington, which operates a so-called "ex-gay" ministry. Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have condemned so-called conversion therapy.

In short, Holsinger is basically the equivalent of an African witch doctor when it comes to his views on homosexuality.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Final Thursday Male Beauty

African Crucible: Children Cast as Witches

This is a troubling story for many reasons ( Moreover, it again shows the insanity often arising from professed religious beliefs. I also find it ironic having posted yesterday about "conservative" Episcopal congregations aligning themselves with fundamentalist elements of the Anglican Communion in Africa. I find it bizarre that allegedly intelligent and educated people in places like Northern Virginia are rushing to become the spiritual brethren of the backward, superstitious and benighted who believe in witches, cast out children, etc. I can only conclude that such is the ultimate result of religious fundamentalism run amok. In my view, having gay bishops would appear rather normal compared to this stuff. These story highlight show just how strange the "truth" of religion can become:
They gathered that afternoon in Domingos’s mud-clay house, he said, seized him and bound his legs with rope. They tossed the rope over the house’s rafters and hoisted him up until he was suspended headfirst over the hard dirt floor. Then they told him they would cut the rope if he did not confess to murdering his father. “They were yelling, ‘Witch! Witch!’” Domingos recalled, tears rolling down his face. “There were so many people all shouting at me at the same time.”

Terrified, Domingos told them what they wanted to hear, but his relatives were not appeased. Ferraz Bulio, the neighborhood’s traditional leader, said seven or eight captors were dragging Domingos down a dirt path to the river, apparently to drown him, when he intervened. “They were slapping him and punching him,” he said. “This is the way people react toward someone accused of witchcraft. There are lots of such cases.” Mr. Bulio is right. In parts of Angola, Congo and the Congo Republic, a surprising number of children are accused of being witches, and then are beaten, abused or abandoned.
The Angolan city of Mbanza Congo, just 50 miles from the border with Congo, has blazed a trail. After a child accused of witchcraft was stabbed to death in 2000, provincial officials and Save the Children, the global charitable organization, rounded up 432 street children and reunited 380 of them with relatives, the witchcraft report stated. Eleven fundamentalist churches were shut down because of reports of child exploitation and abuse. Eight Congolese pastors were deported. Villages formed committees to monitor children’s rights. The authorities say the number of children who are abused or living on the streets dropped drastically.
Moises Samuel, director of the provincial office of the children’s institute, said he was concerned not only about traditional healers but also about a bevy of churches with soothsayers who claimed to exorcise evil spirits and drew crowds even on weekdays. Once a soothsayer or healer brands a child a witch, child welfare specialists say, even the police often back away.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Virginia Attorney General (a/k/a Taliban Bob): America still grounded in Christian morality

Despite losing the Virginia Senate last week and seeing their hold on Virginia Beach begin to slip, the Christianists in the Virginia GOP continue on their fantasy that church and state are one in the same. The latest proponent of this myth is Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, also known as "Taliban Bob" from his involvement in the lynching equivalent of a black female judge who was not reappointed to the bench a few years back due to rumors that she might be lesbian. Of course, when asked at the time whether he had ever violated Virginia's sodomy statute - which was subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas - McDonnell said "not that he could recall."
Meanwhile, McDonnell sat on information I furnished (I still have the e-mail exchanges) to him concerning former Congressman Ed Schrock's "Mega Phone problem" for some eight months before Schrock was ultimately outed by Mike Rodgers at Here are highlights from the Virginian Pilot's coverage of Taliban Bob's latest comments:
America remains grounded in Christian morality and religious faith, as intended by the nation's founders, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell said today at the annual Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast. “Our founders talked a lot about divine providence,” McDonnell said to a crowd of several hundred at the Norfolk Scope exhibition hall. “By divine providence would America be guided, and I think that is still true.”
In his speech, McDonnell said America was “ordained” as a nation, and he called Hampton Roads “hallowed ground” because of the Christian-oriented English settlers who arrived here 400 years ago. McDonnell also affirmed his personal Christian faith and the Bible as a guiding force in his life. He said that as a person of faith in public service he follows the biblical “Golden Rule” of mutual respect for other people.
McDonnell also glorified the United States as “the most prosperous nation the world has ever known,” with the best health care and “the most courageous men and women in uniform of any nation.” “What do we have to complain about when we look at the big picture?” he said. “We forget the history of blessings God has given us in our lives.”

McDonnell has ambitions to be Governor someday. Obviously, I hope he is unsuccessful in this quest since he cannot separate his religious beliefs from the civil laws. Not surprisingly, McDonnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent Law School.

Thursday Male Beauty

Inspector General Removes Himself from Blackwater investigations

Nothing like insider family connections to tamp down objective investigations. Seems like I'd remember if my brother had ties to the entity I was charged with investigating and which has been in the news constantly. These people truly seem to think everyone else is an idiot. Crooks and liars - that's how I see them. Fortunately, this situation was exposed and Krongard has been forced to remove himself. Here are some highlights from the Virginian Pilot's coverage (
State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard pledged Wednesday to remove himself from any investigations involving Blackwater after a House committee chairman revealed that Krongard's brother serves on Blackwater's advisory board. Accused of a conflict of interest by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Krongard first said his brother, Alvin "Buzzy" Krongard, had no connection with Blackwater. Waxman then released Blackwater documents indicating that Krongard's brother had attended a Blackwater board meeting earlier this week in Williamsburg.
After a break, Krongard said he had telephoned his brother and confirmed his Blackwater connection. As inspector general, Krongard is the top State Department official charged with investigating allegations of waste, fraud and abuse. Waxman, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has accused him of impeding an investigation into alleged Blackwater arms smuggling in Iraq.
Krongard's involvement in the investigation while his brother served on the Blackwater board "would appear to violate the conflict of interest guidelines applicable to inspectors general," the committee report concluded. In testimony to the House committee Wednesday, Krongard first denied any knowledge of his brother's Blackwater connection and said: "I never impeded any investigation." Shown the letter from Prince inviting his brother to join the board, Krongard said he didn't know whether his brother accepted. "I'm not my brother's keeper," he said.
Waxman then produced a follow-up e-mail from Prince to Buzzy Krongard thanking him for joining the board and providing details about the board's first meeting Monday and Tuesday in Williamsburg, including transportation from Washington provided by Blackwater's aviation affiliate. After the committee returned from a break, Krongard said he had just called his brother. "I learned he had been at the advisory board meeting yesterday," he said. "I had not been aware of that. I want to state on the record right now that I hereby recuse myself from any matters having to do with Blackwater."
The reversal put committee Republicans who supported Krongard on the defensive. "He has done you tremendous damage," Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., told Krongard. "I don't know what kind of conversation you had with him, but I would have been one unhappy guy." The Krongard matter was the second time in two days Blackwater has been in the news. The New York Times reported Tuesday that FBI agents have concluded that at least 14 of the 17 killings of Iraqi civilians by Blackwater personnel Sept. 16 in Baghdad were unjustified.

Blackwater sees nothing wrong with Howard Krongard's actions, spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said Wednesday: "We do not see a conflict of interest." The company has also denied any involvement in arms smuggling.

California, Florida, Ohio Cities Top Foreclosures

The foreclosure explosion continues to expand. This CNBC story shows how bad the situation has become in some particularly ravaged markets ( From what I continue to hear within the housing industry, the worst has yet to arrive. Here are some highlights:

Cities in California, Florida and Ohio dominated the 25 U.S. metro areas with the highest home foreclosure rates, though rates jumped in most of the top regions during the third quarter, RealtyTrac said on Wednesday. Foreclosure filings rose in 77 of the largest 100 metropolitan areas from the prior quarter, according to the Irvine, California-based marketer of foreclosure properties. A broad credit and liquidity crisis during the third quarter exacerbated U.S. housing industry troubles, pushing sales sharply lower and unsold inventory to record highs.

Overall, U.S. residential foreclosure filings nearly doubled in the third quarter from a year earlier, RealtyTrac reported earlier this month. California cities accounted for seven of the top 25 metro foreclosure rates. Florida and Ohio each accounted for five of the top 25 spots. Home prices in California had surged by double digits in each of the first five years of the decade, and are now leading the price declines that are depressing the U.S. housing market. A large share of loans in recent years were adjustable-rate and other products aimed at improving affordability. But payment shock after large interest-rate adjustments has made the default and foreclosure rate spike. Florida has been hurt also by a glut of condos and homes that speculators have been unable to flip, or sell quickly, and are now priced less than the value of the mortgage.

Thursday Morning Doldrums

Perhaps it’s because my hives are back or maybe it’s the advance of the holiday blues, but whatever the cause my energy and morale are low. Needless drama with staff members at the office yesterday – some of whom seem to forget who employs whom at times – has not helped matters. [By way of update, I had to fire one employee today, adding to the fun day] There are definitely days that I’d like to just say f*** everyone and run away. The utterly dead real estate market isn’t helping cash flow either.

Next week is Thanksgiving – supposedly the quintessential family holiday. My youngest daughter is joining me at my sisters in Virginia Beach for Thanksgiving dinner, but my older two are stiffing me to having dinner with their mother at the home of former neighbors (the same neighbors who (i) I suspect have encouraged my ex-wife to be such a bitch in the divorce and (ii) are such a model straight couple that the husband has put the wife in the ER at least once from hitting her). The fact that they live a mile from my sister’s house eliminates any argument that stopping by is logistically inconvenient. I know, I am being bitchy, but that’s my current frame of mind.

HRBOR is having its Third Thursday event this evening, so that should provided a much needed diversion. The event should be nice inasmuch as Decorum Furniture is hosting and food is being provided by the Imperial Inca Restaurant. Yet another member is providing the bar service (we always have adult beverages J) . Rumor has it that we may have a huge turn out, which would certainly be nice. HRBOR is steadily growing and, I hope in time, will be seen as a real force in the local community. It is long past time that the larger business community take the numerous gay owned local business more seriously.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Emerging from the Closet - The Struggle to Find a New Identity

In further follow up to yesterday’s post, after moving out of the marital home in an affluent suburban neighborhood, I moved into a two bedroom apartment in an old apartment building in Norfolk’s Ghent section. Having left pretty much all of the furniture in the house my wife continued to live with the children so as to minimize disruption and changes, my apartment looked at first more like early college dorm material than a real home. It’s amazing what you can do with stuff from Value City, Home Depot and Target to make do.
When the marital home was ultimately sold almost two years later in June of 2004, I did get some of the furniture my ex-wife did not want or which did not fit in the smaller house that she purchased. While not glamorous, the apartment was livable and conveniently located where there were numerous restaurants, a movie theater, a fabulous video rental store (with many, many foreign films and even a gay section), and other shops within walking distance. In some ways it was like moving to a small town within the larger city after living in suburbia. Even now, I live only minutes away from the apartment’s location and my office is not far away either.

On the work front, the downtown law firm I was with at the time knew that I was going through a divorce, but I did not elaborate on why the marriage was ending. Fortunately, a couple of the other attorneys had seen prior marriages end and, therefore, it was an issue no one seemed to have much interest in. Eventually, I think office staff and others began to figure it all out – especially after I ran into one employee and her husband at a local bar that I and a number of gay friends I had made by the time frequented some weekends. J, as I will call her, was totally cool about it as was her husband. Nonetheless, I tried to maintain a low profile and had some degree of paranoia about what might happen at the office if word got out. This area after all is not what one would call “gay friendly” to any degree. Not being out certainly greatly added to the level of worry and stress that I did not need on top of everything else. The largest burden at the time was the “Catholic guilt” I felt for having “failed” and allowed my marriage to end. Ultimately putting this misguided sense of guilt behind me - after all, I certainly never chose to be gay - would be among the hardest aspects of coming to accept myself and adjusting to a new life/identity.

Living alone was also a huge change after living in a household with three active children and the coming and goings of their numerous friends. Plus, I withdrew from many of my past activities in straight, GOP dominated Virginia Beach. Eventually, I sublet out the extra bedroom to a other gays (I most certainly did not want a straight roommate), both to cut over all expenses and to also feel less alone. Through them, I did meet more people and increased my sense of acceptance of being a gay man. I also found more ease in going out to venues as a gay man with other similar friends.
Things on the romance front were less than sparkling – nonexistent would be a better term – which only added to my sense of having lost everything, yet found nothing with which to replace it. This was especially true after things ended in my long distance relationship with RH in 2003, in part because he did not want to be “the other man” who ruined my marriage, not that it wasn’t ruined long be fore I ever meet him. Simply chatting with him online and/or talking on the telephone was a lifeline that became sorely missed. Moreover, I truly loved him, and part of me always will. This added layer of grief did not help my over all mindset.

Meanwhile, my therapist worked to get me to believe that I did not need a relationship to define me and that, rather than rush into something, living alone was in fact a viable option. In retrospect, one of my big issues was the belief that I HAD to have something to replace the dysfunctional marriage relationship that I had lost. One of the things that had pushed me to come out was the desire to have an authentic, fulfilling relationship with a guy I loved. As the saying goes, you find love when you are not looking for it. At the time, especially after losing RH, I was looking far too intently for it. Why? Partly, I suspect to convince myself that I was moving forward. I caused myself so much anguish instead of simply enjoying the now and not obsessing over the future. Much of my anguish, was self created. But at the time, I simply could not and/or would not see it.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Catholic Bishops Warn Voters To Follow Church Teachings - While Still Trying to Stiff Abuse Victims

Once again the U. S. Catholic Bishops - those paragons of virtue, two thirds of whom were involved in the cover up of the sexual abuse of minors - are once again endeavoring to interfere with the civil elections next year in this country. Personally, given the moral bankruptcy of the bishops and the failure of those who were involved in the sex abuse scandal cover up to resign their positions as any honorable person would, I do not understand why anyone gives credence to anything they have to say. Their agenda is one of power and control - the institutional Church gave up preaching the Gospel of Christ ages ago. Here are highlights from the Washington Post:
BALTIMORE -- Roman Catholics voting in the 2008 elections must heed church teaching when deciding which candidates and policies to support, U.S. bishops said Wednesday. And while the church recognizes the importance of a wide range of issues _ from war to immigration to poverty _ fighting abortion should be a priority, the bishops said. The document does not recommend specific laws or candidates, and it emphasizes that "principled debate" is needed to decide which policies best promote the common good. But "that does not make (moral issues) optional concerns or permit Catholics to dismiss or ignore church teaching," the bishops said.
However, they also oppose same-sex marriage, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research, in addition to their staunch anti-abortion position. The prelates say torture is "always wrong" and they express "serious moral concerns" about "preventive use of military force." But at the last minute Wednesday, they added a sentence acknowledging "the continuing threat of fanatical extremism and global terror."

The threat of fanatical extremism - did they include themselves in that category? They should have. Meanwhile, efforts are underway to protect the Church's most valued commodity: money. This Chicago Sun Times story is instructive (:,CST-NWS-Arch13.article):

Cardinal Francis George and one of his top bishops are stirring up controversy because of statements they recently made criticizing lawsuits from victims of priest sexual abuse. The cardinal also wrote that money was the motivation for proposed state legislation that would allow adults who were abused by priests as children to sue their perpetrators in cases where statutes of limitation have expired. "This is irresponsible, is not about the safety of children as the sponsor claims, and is clearly, to me at least, about money," he wrote.

Survivors say because of the psychological damage of sex abuse, statutes of limitation often expire before victims can come forward. They also say lawsuits are often the only means to expose pedophile clergy and hold bishops accountable for failing to protect the public. Officials from the archdiocese did not comment.

As I said, they are morally bankrupt and due no respect or deference.

Trial Begins in Clash Over Virginia Episcopal Church Property

This trial will be very interesting to watch. In the Episcopal Church, title to many church properties belongs to the diocese and NOT the individual congregations. Hence, if a congregation wants to leave the church to further their bigoted and anti-gay views, the diocese basically has the right to tell the congregation to vacate the church premises. I truly hope that the courts will uphold the diocese on this point and send this hate merchants packing. Here are highlights from the Washington Post (

Tens of millions of dollars of Virginia real estate are at stake in a trial that began yesterday in Fairfax County Circuit Court, where priests, members of bitterly divided churches and lawyers filled the pews. It is one of the largest property disputes in Episcopal Church history. The trial comes almost a year after the majority of congregants in 15 traditional Episcopal churches voted to leave the national church because of disagreements about the nature of God and salvation and about whether gay men and lesbians should be fully accepted. Northern Virginia has since become one of the most active areas in the country for the conservative, breakaway movement, and clergy around the country are watching this trial to see what happens to Episcopalians who want to leave -- and take church properties with them.

Only 11 of the original 15 congregations are involved in the litigation currently in court, including the grand, historic Truro Church in Fairfax City and The Falls Church in the city of Falls Church. Officials with the Virginia diocese said the property in dispute is worth at least $30 million. The trial, which is scheduled to go on until late next week, is actually the first of two trials, and no resolution in the land dispute will come until early next year at the earliest.

The first trial is meant to determine whether the congregations "divided" under the legal meaning of the word. After the congregations voted, they filed court documents citing a Civil War-era part of Virginia code that allows congregations that have divided to vote on where they wish to affiliate. If the court approves the documents, according to the historic code, then the breakaway churches get the property. After voting to leave, the 11 churches placed themselves within a Virginia-based branch of the Church of Nigeria -- another wing in the Communion.

The Virginia diocese is arguing that there was no division, but rather that individuals unhappy with the Episcopal Church chose to leave. The diocese and the national church, which are both parties in the case, say that the Episcopal Church is hierarchical and therefore a "division" can only happen if there is a vote of its governing body.

Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows has said he will rule on this case next month. Regardless of how he rules, a second trial will be held on lawsuits brought by the diocese and national church against the breakaway churches. That action asks the Circuit Court to declare the diocese the rightful owner of all property. The suits also asked the court to force the breakaway congregations off the 11 properties, which they have occupied since the votes in December and January.

Truro Church is very historic and, therefore, the stakes are all the higher:
Truro Parish was created by order of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1732, some 10 years before Fairfax County itself came into existence. The father of George Washington, Augustine Washington, was a Truro vestryman and nominated the first regular rector of the parish in 1736. George Washington himself was appointed to the vestry in 1762. In 1768, a new building was erected with a closer proximity to the Town of Fairfax.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Oral Roberts University Faculty Gives Vote of No Confidence

Meanwhile, the meltdown at Oral Roberts University continues as reported by the Tulsa World ( A quorum of tenured Oral Roberts University faculty voted "no confidence" in President Richard Roberts and voted in favor of "greater faculty governance and transparency of university finances" in a 3-1/2-hour meeting Monday night at the University. Few things warm my heart more than seeing Christianist hypocrites taken down and exposed for the frauds far too many of them are in fact. It is about time that Robert's little cult of the personality (and his wife's use of under age boys for toys) came to an end. Here are some story highlights:
The vote of no confidence in Roberts as president and CEO of the university was made "without regard to the outcome of the current lawsuit against the university" and "is not to be construed as a judgment of guilt or innocence with regard to the present lawsuit against the president and the university," according to the list of motions and summary of the meeting faxed to media by Gary Richardson, an attorney for the three former professors who are suing ORU, Roberts and other ORU leadership. The tenured faculty also approved a motion to be involved in "determining selection criteria for and the actual selection of university leadership."
Evaluators who visited ORU last week told administrative staff members that they will recommend the college keep its accreditation, according to the university. The visitors spent four days on campus as part of a regular peer review to ensure the university meets minimum standards. The accreditation team sent by the Higher Learning Commission also is recommending that commission representatives return to ORU in 2009 to review ORU's leadership, governance and finances, according to ORU's written statement e-mailed by Burton.

FBI finds 14 of 17 killings by Blackwater Unjustified

Why am I not shocked? I mean, after all, Blackwater for all the efforts to dress it up with some semblance of respectability is in the final analysis a bunch of mercenaries headed up by a Christianist fanatic in the person of Erik Prince. One needs to only briefly read the websites of Christianist organizations that Prince's father helped found and/or fund and it is quickly apparent that Muslims rank somewhere less than fully human, as do brown skinned Hispanics, Blacks and, of course, gays. Sadly, this mentality has become mainstream in today's GOP. These Virginian Pilot story highlights illuminate the mess (

Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case. The FBI investigation into the fatal shootings in Baghdad is still under way, but the findings, which indicate that the Moyock, N.C.-based company's employees recklessly used lethal force, are already under review by the Justice Department.
Investigators found no evidence to support assertions by Blackwater employees that they were fired upon by Iraqi civilians. This finding sharply contradicts initial assertions by Blackwater officials, who said that company employees fired in self-defense and that three company vehicles were damaged by gunfire.

These guys think they are back fighting the Crusades and exterminating the infidel - as does the delusional Chimperator - so why is there any surprise?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Emerging From the Closet - Coming to Terms Living as a Gay Man

I stopped my on going chronology of my coming out process back at the time I moved out of the marital home in August, 2002. I now want to pick up that story and to reflect on my experiences and thoughts. I was definitely an emotional mess at the time and, while, facing the fact that I was indeed gay, I was anything but comfortable with it or happy where my life was at that point in time.

I suspect that no matter when one comes out, there will always be a potential for loss of friends, one’s existing social network and things that make up the familiar framework of daily life. In my case, having been married for 24 years and very involved in civic and education matters, politics, etc., and having almost no gay friends in the area, the stage was set for a huge vacuum to develop when I took the plunge of moving out. Perhaps part of this was based on my decision NOT to remain living in Virginia Beach where I was far too well known. Rather than face the gossip and endlessly encounter people, I moved to the Ghent area of Norfolk – about 20 miles away as the crow flies, but a totally different community, both socially, politically and in terms of gay acceptance. The immediate result was that socially I knew almost no one at all and most of my former “friends” in Virginia Beach cast me aside as I became invisible on the occasions I would attend school functions for my children or similar events.

As for the gay community and life in that community in the Hampton Roads area, I again knew basically no one. To make matters worse, given that so many in the local LGBT community live largely “under the radar,” meeting people with similar backgrounds and interests is all the more difficult. In terms of meeting other gays, the options as I saw them were (1) going to clubs, (2) chatting on line or (3) becoming involved any organizations that I could find that might attract other gays. Obviously, the club scene does not engender deep or philosophical conversations and I am not one who likes to just sit around basically getting drunk. Hence, I gravitated to the one gay club that focuses on non-stop dance music and where one truly did not need a partner to be out on the dance floor. I still go to that club, The Wave, with some regularity because dancing provides great aerobic exercise and for me dancing is a catharsis – losing one’s self to the music and forgetting the crap in one’s life. Surfing provides a similar benefit for me.

As for chatting on line, I met some nice people, although far too many are looking to hook up for sex and one seems to be little more than a piece of meat in their mind. I will not deny succumbing at times to such people, but it certainly was not something fulfilling, especially in retrospect. The fear of being alone sometimes would simply be too strong. At times in those dark days, any intimacy was better than nothing.

I was also very much plagued with the issue of being so much older at the time I came out. I viewed myself largely as a “has been” before I ever even got started. There are still times I feel that way about myself. Gay life certainly seems to worship youth and beauty in many ways and I did not have the youth part and could not remotely deceive myself of that reality. I suspect most gay men have hang ups about age and looks, but coming out into the gay community at age 50 is definitely a major downer. The other issue I found is that among the more desirable guys closer to my age that I did meet, most were already in relationships and off the market. Thus, those available were either “damaged goods” or were not seeking a committed long term relationship. As for younger guys, finding one with maturity and an attraction for someone older like me definitely limits the field of potential partners. Too often, a good heart and mind are no competition for toned abs and a tight body.

As a result of these factors, I generally despaired of ever finding “Mr. Right” and at times felt that I had lost my former life but had gained nothing to replace it. My long distance relationship with RH (that involved few actually meetings) ended during this time frame, further darkening my world. During this period, I also was not out at work, which added another layer of stress and anxiety to my life. The larger law firms in this area are still not very receptive to gays who live their lives openly.
In this somewhat pathetic mode, I muddled along and tried to focus on my therapy and getting to a point where I was OK with who I was as a gay man. Looking back, I am not sure if there was any easier process that I could have tried to follow. Perhaps in other larger cities with more openly gay populations, but not here in the greater Norfolk area where countless gays are still not out at work and many of those in the military live in fear under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Being at an age and in a profession where relocating to another area job wise was not a viable option, I was basically stuck in Norfolk, for better or for worse.

I’d be lying if I did not admit that there were many times that I contemplated suicide as perhaps my best option – often just as a means of ending the sense of isolation and pain. I often felt that I had lost everything and had nothing acceptable to replace it. I was in a very, very dark place. In fact, prior to meeting Raymond nearly two years after moving out, I had largely decided that I had no intention of seeing my birthday in 2004. An overdose of pills, a surfing "accident" and other methods were regularly contemplated. Probably the one thing that held me back was the impact suicide would have on my children: severe emotional pain and damage and an increased risk of their possible future suicide.

Through out this period, my long suffering therapist was challenged with finding ways for me to see that the current state was not the guaranteed future reality. I am sure I was a total ass at times, but he kept on pushing me to accept the now, knowing that things COULD change for the better, if I would but believe it. I owe him so much for his never giving up on me and talking tough to me when I needed a good smack down.