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BAMMER and Me: Confessions of a Male Escort turned Addiction Counselor

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Stu Fenton, Fire Island, 1999

PODCAST: Interviews by baby-boomer LGBTQ historian Mike Balaban, with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community.

EPISODE 9: Stu Fenton has had quite the life! In his early twenties, Stu was a Colt model and a male escort. That high life led to drug addiction, multiple near-death overdoses, and eventually rehab. Currently, he manages a chemsex treatment center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of only five in the world focusing on LGBTQ patients.

The Dead, The Living, and The Inheritance

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Mason (left) and me in happier times, 1993.

Fall is a time of sad anniversaries for me.

When I tested positive for HIV in the fall of 1988, it was hardly surprising. Many sex buddies had died by then. A mysterious bout of flu during the summer of ’81 or ‘82 I now realize must have been the “conversion illness.” Around the time of that blood test, my brother Howard, who would have been 63 on his birthday October 19, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It is understandable, I think, that I decided not to inform my parents or my other brother of my sero-status until it was absolutely required. That day came when they met Mason, my partner, whose body by that time was marked by KS lesions. The 25th anniversary of his death was October 7. The 14th anniversary of the death of Joe, the partner I lived with for 10 years after Mason’s death, was on October 20.
 
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BAMMER and Me: Life in NYC Avant Garde Theatre Scene and Stonewall

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PODCAST: Interviews by baby-boomer LGBTQ historian Mike Balaban, with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community.

EPISODE 8: Mike talks with Frank Carucci, a life-long New Yorker, about working in the NYC avant-garde theatre scene, the Stonewall riots and life in NYC over the last 60 years.

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BAMMER and Me: Gay Life in 1950s NYC

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Edward Field and his partner of 58 years, Neil Derrick.

PODCAST: Interviews by baby-boomer LGBTQ historian Mike Balaban, with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community.

EPISODE 7: Ninety-five-year-old renowned poet Edward Field shares stories about gay life in NYC amid the social change of the 1950s, and life with his partner of 58 years, Neil Derrick.

Ralfie

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Our hearts resemble houses constructed by our parents. When we’re young and something breaks they repair the damage. As we get older we learn how to maintain and protect our own houses. First we have to learn how to welcome guests. We may deliberately allow them to enter our intimate lives. Some stay a short time and others stay longer. Some may damage our home or even steal from us. Still, in the end we each need someone to love our home and to become a part of it. Ralfie was a good guest in my home; one who stayed for quite a long time.

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BAMMER and Me: Gay Life after WWll

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Edward Field, circa 1950s

PODCAST: Interviews by baby-boomer LGBTQ historian Mike Balaban, with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community.

EPISODE 6: Renowned poet and author Edward Field discusses with Mike, his colorful and bohemian life after WW2, including his life in France and Greece developing his craft as a fledgling poet, and 1950s gay life in Manhattan and McCarthyism.

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BAMMER and Me: Life of a Gay Soldier in WWll

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PODCAST: Interviews by baby-boomer LGBTQ historian Mike Balaban, with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community.

EPISODE 5: Mike Balaban interviews renowned poet and author Edward Field. At 95 years old, Edward shares his experiences as a gay man in the military during World War ll, talking about his affair with his master sergeant in boot camp under the noses of his fellow recruits; his adventures as a navigator on bombing raids over Germany; and experiencing gay life in post-war Europe.

Angels and Demons

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We five were an unusual gang—“the famous five”—as we liked to call ourselves. It was comprised of me, my best friend Mark, his brother Ryan, and Ryan’s friends, Shane and Rahul. Ryan and his friends were fourteen-years-old, two years older than Mark and me. We all went to one of the top Catholic schools in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. We used to meet every morning before classes, some days at recess, and after school, whenever possible.
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BAMMER and Me: Coming Out

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PODCAST: Interviews by baby-boomer LGBTQ historian Mike Balaban, with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community.

EPISODE 4: Our first episode is about cross-generational perspectives on LGBTQ issues and themes between Mike Balaban and 25 y.o. millennial documentarian, Caleb Holland.

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BAMMER and Me: Author David Nimmons discusses gay community

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PODCAST: Interviews by a baby-boomer gay historian with a diverse guest list, covering issues and themes from the global LGBTQ community

EPISODE 3: Mike interviews Dave Nimmons on gay male bonding and how gay men can find meaningful ways to connect and create community.