Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Great Story

I know I've let this blog lay pretty dead for a while. Got a new job, everything's going great, nothing much to write about. Things have been going great with Chris and my family. I have been pretty content just letting this blog lay dormant, and its kind of nice to have as a historical record of my coming out process. I look back at some of the stuff I wrote and I shake my head at how nervous and neurotic and irrational I seem sometimes, but I really like having it there, because it reminds me how much I've been able to accomplish.

If any of you follow the WTF podcast with Marc Maron, it's a great glimpse into the personal lives of standup comics. Though it's always comics, its not really a comedy show- it usually gets very personal and it gives you a glimpse into the lives of comics when they're not "on". This week Marc Maron featured Todd Glass, a former contestant on comedy reality show Last Comic Standing, a regular featured guest on "Tosh.0", and a staple of the touring comedy circuit; I was already familiar with his work and a pretty big fan. I was really excited to hear him on the show this week, and in the show, he came out professionally!

While coming out stories are a dime-a-dozen these days (which is a good thing), I think Todd's story is really intriguing, because he is 47, and struggled with almost the exact same issues I did. He really does a great job here of just speaking his mind completely honestly and unpacking his entire thought process, and it is eerie how specifically similar my process was to his. He is incredibly honest in going through all of his feelings and tracing the roots of his internalized homophobia, and I really was incredibly moved by his ability to share the details of his personal journey with the world.

Anyway, congratulations to Todd Glass and I wish him all the best!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Letopho posted about his New York trip, and accused me of being "well-adjusted"! That was a first, I think. Despite my well-adjustedness, I still feel like a bit of a gay noob sometimes, and it leads to odd etiquette questions like, is it weird to go to a strip club with your boyfriend?

Miss Manners was not able to answer my question before this past Sunday, where after a rooftop dinner shared with our friend, with much wine, and other intoxicants, we decided it would be a good idea to check out a strip club. As you can infer from the types of places I dragged Letopho to on his New York tour, despite being generally a good girl, I have a weakness for the really seedy gay bars, go-go boys and the like, but I had never been to a gay male strip club! I have actually been to most straight strip clubs in the city, both from my awkward closeted days, but even afterwards, for friends' birthday parties, bachelor parties, and even a pretty well respected steakhouse/strip club here in New York that was quite an odd experience. I have not had occassion to go to a gay strip club, mostly because there aren't any. There are some venues that do individual nights as a male cabaret, but they're not on odd days, and I had never had the opportunity to check them out. In either case, I figured it was time to lose my gay strip club cherry and check out Le Boyz. I found this flyer here:

And we headed over. Now a few things to note about our experience at this particular club. First things first- everything on that flyer is pretty much a lie. When we got to the door, they were trying to charge us cover, but I showed them the flyer that says "Free Admission". This caused a ridiculous commotion and they had to call 2 people at the door before they grudgingly let us in, and we found that the place was pretty empty, at about 11pm. I don't know if we were too early or too late or whatever, but there were only about 4 strippers in the whole place, of varying quality. The second lie is that the strippers were pretty much nothing like the guys on that flyer, but that's probably pretty common.
As our eyes adjusted to the dim basement, we found that it was not at all like the strip club experience I was expecting. There was no stage show or anything, and it was really just strippers in their underwear walking up to you and aggressively propositioning you for a lapdance, often pulling down their underwear to flash a seemingly unending schlong. These "lapdances" occurred in the corner but in plain sight of the whole room and from where I saw looked less like what I was expecting, and more like grinding their crotch into your face. I definitely got the feeling that this situation could have escalated to more for more money, but it felt really... uncomfortable. It's not JUST because I was there with my boyfriend, but also just it wasn't what I was expecting. I would have liked a stage where I could stuff dollars in a guy's g-string, or maybe a more artistic lapdance, where you're not allowed or expected to grope and lick the dancers.
In either case, despite our initial uncomfortability, we got a little more relaxed when more people showed up, and just like us, for the most part, they just ignored the dancers and treated the place as a normal gay club. We spotted what we believed to be a drag house meeting, where they were all trading some sick moves, and we did our own dancing by the bar and it ended up being a lot of fun, just the three of us.
I wouldn't go back for the Le Boyz event though. Just wasn't a fan of the set up, the door attitude, or the massive hangover on Monday morning...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Under Pressure

So imagine the pressure a couple feels to get married after being together about 2 years, from friends, family, etc. Now imagine all that pressure, condensed into the span of about 48 hours, and you have my weekend pretty much. Not complaining! It's a good problem to have!

I hope everyone had an amazing pride!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gym, Marriage Equality

Been on a bit of a gym kick lately, maybe cause it's nice out, and maybe because I want to go back to that nude beach soon! In addition to going to yoga once or twice, I've started doing some circuit training on weekends. It's from the Men's Health "Jason Statham" workout (pictured above)... Mmmm.

I was hoping to go yesterday and today, but I keep getting roped into the Marriage Equality NY phonebanks, which are right by my work, and it does seem more important than ever to go to and help out. I've been doing that for a few weeks now. We call registered democrats in the districts of undecided NY state senators, and urge them to leave voicemails for their senator in support of gay marriage.

It's a little scary to cold call potentially unfriendly people in upstate new york, but it is nice to be a part of something like this, and I really hope it works out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vegas. Baby.

I was in Vegas all weekend for my college roommate's bachelor party! I was the only gay guy in the group, so the weekend was mostly spent going to overpriced crowded straight clubs and really cheesy strip clubs, but it was really great to hang out with my friends and we had a great time. I even bet the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby so I was up overall for the weekend!

As it turned out, I ended up staying a day longer than my other friends, so my night I was by myself I decided to check out an acrobatic/dance show (La Reve) and the gay nightlife, or what I could find of it. Really, what I would have liked to find was a sleazy gay strip club, but apparently there aren't any! A lot of people recommended Flex lounge, but it was pretty far, and I had heard its not very busy on Sundays.

I got free entry to the Closet Sundays party at the Revolution Lounge at the Mirage, so I decided to go and check out the go-go boys. I hate going to clubs by myself, I even hated it when I was single, but it was actually really fun. I met a really fabulous drag queen, whose name I'm forgetting [looked it up later, it was Lady Kimora], and I provided some financial assistance to some go-go boys in the form of dollar bills in their underwear. When I had arrived it wasn't even very crowded, so I got a great seat at a table, which was a real treat after the weekend of expensive bottle service required at all the straight clubs. As the club got more crowded two other guys sat at the same table, and after that it got less fun...

I had made polite conversation with them at first, but then when it became clear that one of them was in to me, I told him, "Sorry, I have a boyfriend," and I thought that would be the end of it. But instead, the guy got increasingly more awkward, asking me questions like "Why are you here if you have a boyfriend? Why are you drinking a beer if you aren't trying to get drunk?" All in all, the questions started like a normal conversation, but got even a little hostile toward the end. I tried to ignore him, but when he started trying to put his arm around me, I decided I'd had enough and I left the table. All told, I still had a great time at the club, and I wasn't going to let one drunk asshole ruin it.

Later on though, in my best Carrie Bradshaw impersonation, I couldn't help but wonder-- are monogamous coupled gays not invited to the party? I probably should have started my blog post with some sort of explanation for the sparse postings on my part, but a big part of it has to do with the fact that I don't feel the loneliness and closeted misery that was driving me to start the blog in the first place, or the novelty of the gay scene that motivated me to continue posting as a single gay man. I'm incredibly happy in my daily life, but I can't imagine boring someone else with the details of my regular routine. In kind of the same way, the gay social life seems so defined by the hookup culture, that I sometimes feel like I don't belong-- that I'm rude to even be wasting people's time since I'm unavailable.

Anyway, that's silly. Gay men are a community that should be more than who you're able to hook up with at that given moment. A lot of people say that coming out is the beginning of a delayed, accelerated second adolescence, and maybe because I came out so late in life, I rushed through that whole process too, but now that I'm experiencing a broader side of the gay community- the LGBT activism community, the networking group at my work, and I've begun working with gay-community charities in New York such as Green Chimneys and GMHC. As I become more involved in the gay community I am continually impressed by the power of the collective and the unity that I have come to feel from the people I have met and I'm proud to be a part of it.

P.S. I promise to post more than once every 5 months going forward so letopho can stop yelling at me about it :P.
P.P.S. Speaking of gay community and activism, I met Rosie O'Donnell at a Family Equality Council benefit! Did you know she and her partner have adopted 10 kids??

P.P.P.S. Yeah... I don't know what I was thinking with that tie.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Story

Happy V-Day my loves! More importantly, for those of you who have been reading along for the past two years (CRAZY, RIGHT?) this is the anniversary of my big coming out with most of my NY friends! We're celebrating by getting dinner and then going back to the bar where I came out to everyone over a round of tequila shots. I think we're going to commemorate the occasion by, well, doing more tequila shots!

When I look back at this blog and my life and everything that's changed in the past two years, it's been such an intense and rewarding experience, and a big part of that support came initially from this blog and the story I was able to share and get such powerful feedback on, and I wanted to thank everyone again, if I hadn't before.

As a corollary, I read a really interesting review of this book "A Box of Darkness". Well, no way for me to spoil the plot, but it's basically it's a true story- a woman's memoirs after her husband has died and she looks into his possessions and finds gay porn, evidence of homosexual affairs spanning the entire length of their marriage.

Honestly, I don't think I could ever read this book. Part of it is that this woman's story sounds kind of sad to me. Their relationship, which clearly, if it lasted their whole lives, despite his double life, couldn't have been all bad, but it does seem that there was this one way in which she found she had never satisfied her partner. Furthermore, from the excerpt, it sounds like his closetedness drove him to alcoholism, which made him be not such a great partner in other ways as well.

The other part is that, three years ago, when coming out was not an option to me at all, this is probably the type of life I was striving for. I think that stories like this, or Larry Craig, or any of those crazy closeted Republican politicians that turn out to be lifelong closet cases, are the ones that make me take stock and realize that what I was trying to do and trying to be all those years never made sense.

So this is a love story to myself and to anyone out there who has felt that they could never live the life they deserve. I am proud of myself and the people in my life who allowed me to love myself for who I am, and I am happier than I could ever have imagined.