This was an actual online personal ad.

“Remember not everyone has walked in the same shoes.

I was raped at 13 by a family member. Blamed him for my feelings about men for many years thinking what he did made me want men and his raping me made me feel attracted. After my rapist’s death 4 yrs ago I crashed and burned. Cried for months realizing I had to admit my sexual feelings and to this day trying to grow and better understand myself.

The thing I lack most in my life is a close male relationship. I wish I didn’t feel awkward and unsure of myself. My gift for gab is me being nervous and uncertain. I wonder if I will ever find someone I can trust and who will be close 2 me.

Bi mwm here… wife knows and resentful… time will tell…
I hope someone has an understanding heart.”

Um….what to say?  I’m a bit dumnfounded.  It was accompanied by three pictures of his naked torso and crotch.  Um…..yeah.  Any ideas?

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Rochester, aka “The Pit of Despair”

Let me start by saying that my research here is going great.  Living with family is as you would imagine to be (well maybe better than you imagine if you don’t get along with your family).

I haven’t lived in the east in over a decade, and the thing I’m being reminded of is how segregated, uptight, and sometimes desperate the gay scene can be.  I’ve gotten used to this sense of at least good will in communication when meeting people to date in Portland.  If you make a plan to meet in a day or two, you do about 80% of the time, and they might flake about 20% of the time.  That’s fine.  That falls on the positive side of dating economics.  Reverse the equation for Rochester.  If you’re not going to meet someone that night, you’ll be lucky to hear from them (even after a long seemingly positive phone conversation).  There have been a few one nighters, but I’d rather make a friend frankly.  I was overconfident about my ‘other’ romantic connections here.  I underestimated the powers of the dark side.  Tolerance for homos out here means that they won’t beat you up, but you’re pushing it if you want to be verbal or public about it at all.  No wonder fags are twitchy, uptight, and desperate here.

Maybe my sense of myself is skewed.  I thought that I was genuine, honest, and easy to get along with.  Maybe I’m just not adapted well for this ecosystem.  Like a brown bear thrust into the arctic where only polar bears can eek out a living.  Of course, that metaphor would relegate other gay men to the status of food items and carrion.  Sounds like maybe I do need to work on my mindset a bit.  Either that, or just get my research done, get out, and don’t look back (except for family).

I think this is that loneliness they talked about when going and doing fieldwork.  You lose your identity a bit, and that’s disconcerting and disorienting.  Must…..focus…..must…..complete…..tasks….forget….about….fags……..but….starved…..for…….companionship……AAAaaaaargh!

Brad’s first marriage

So my good friend Tim, whom I’ve been friends with since 1981, is marrying his fiancee, Virginia.  For this reason, I got ordained by the Universal Life Church to officiate their wedding.  Tim and I grew up together in Wisconsin.  We met in catholic grade school, played AD&D throughout high school, and hung out and partied through the early 90’s.  He took me to get my first tattoo when I was recovering from a terrible bout of food poisoning, and he accompanied myself and a friend on my move out to Portland back in 1995.

Tim is one of a core of 5 guys that I’ve known for over 20 years.  He’s lived all over the world in squats, ranches, and houses throughout Central America and Europe.  He’s a woodworker and carpenter, a fire-dancer and musician, a clever wit and a tender soul.  I have met very few people in life who are near to his level of genuine, caring sincerity. 

Virginia grew up in Argentina.  She is an artist, and her specialty is making puppetts of late.  She is a classic beautiful latina with a gracile frame, warm smile, and wonderful laugh that seems to somehow communicate her own generous spirit.  They met when Tim was living near Mexico City back in 2004.

To see them together doing anything is to see love.  It is something that hangs in the air between them.

So last week when they were proclaiming that they were trying to get married in the next couple of weeks (because they are both tired of having to play the immigration hokey-pokey for Virginia).  I caved and followed through with becoming ordained because I had wanted to for some time.  That, and I wanted to be the one to marry them.  Tim is like my brother, and Virginia is just such a wonderful, intelligent, kind woman.  I can think of no greater honor than marrying them today at noon.

A Gaming Wedding

This weekend in Iron Mountain, Michigan one of my buddies from high school is getting married.  Dan is a part of phase four of my role playing/video gaming life before I channelled all of that energy into improv.  Phase four took place from 1992-1995.  Phase one began in 1980 to give you some scope.

When I visit Wisconsin, there is usually a LAN party thrown.  Dan’s wife has been a smash on the online game scene with him.  Dan is about 6′, spindly, and prone to making weird noises and tangents.  He’s a printer by trade who is a main pressman for the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.  Dan and I used to be the class clowns in Fr. Hudson’s geometry class back in 1986.  We made that priest laugh so hard and long one class that he just grabbed his coat and hat and laughed all the way out the door.  He left and didn’t come back until the next day.  Fr. Hudson had MS, and he had a proclivity for picking up change off the floor and remarking about it.  I feel terrible about this now, but we used to entertain ourselves by seeding the floor with change while he wrote on the board by lobbing pennies and nickels up by the blackboard where he would write (and turn and spot change).  To this day, Fr. Hudson was one person who I felt was a holy man.  He always had a joyful glow about him like he knew something and was giggling waiting to tell you.

My longest friend, Mike, will be housing me and chauffering me throughout the weekend.  I’ve known Mike since 1977, and we’ve been friends since 1982.  He’s got the frame of a giant norseman.  6’4″, blond, green-eyed, stocky fella, but clean cut wearing L.L. Bean apparel.  Mike has been the constant companion through all four phases of my gaming life.  Ironically, he almost always plays dwarves in games.  We have watched Conan the Barbarian together about 9 times (of the 62 that I’ve seen it).  He and his now wife hooked up at a week long party I had at my parents’ house called “Fuckfest”.  We even had a banner that we made on the back of a Warsteiner promo.  FYI: the picture for this post is one of Mike’s MANY hand-painted miniature figures. 

I’ll send another report later, but I figured I’d introduce some main characters before the mayhem unfolds.

Next time: Joe, Chachi, the Jims, and Dan’s mother in The Well-Liquored, Totally-Stoned Midwesterners an anthropological study of weddings and de-evolution.

Nothing can be simple

Just had one of the most amazing weekends of my romantic life.  I finally find a man who totally gets me, who I get, and we’re both into each other, and he lives 2500 miles away.  Fucking Bullshit!  Last night was the ‘not let go of one another’ night. <sigh>

He’s planning on coming back for another long weekend this summer, but that’s 4-6 months away.  At least I’ve stopped crying.  I was a wreck when I pulled away from the airport.  Sheesh.  Oh well, back to life as usual.

Asshole poser & me  as of 2/8/07

Long Distance Reprieve

Alright Brad’s blog fans, here’s a delicious bite.  Airfare has been purchased, and the wonderful Rene Vega is visiting the west coast for the first time ever.  Yes, the man I’ve been carrying on about will be here the weekend after I get back from Amsterdam.  This so rocks.  I can barely contain myself.