In 1994, I was wheatpasting posters around New York City late at night (when the police tended to be in doughnut shops, not on the streets) for ACT UP and started complaining about having turned 30 and feeling old. My partner-in-wheatpasting-crime — who was positive which, back in those pre-retroviral days, was a virtual death sentence — turned and said “you know, I was really grateful to make it to 30.”
Recently found a poem I wrote in March 1992 about a wonderful guy I met on the “Pioneer,” an Amtrak train that once ran from Chicago, through Wyoming, to Portland, Oregon. I’ve met and lusted over 100s and 100s of men over the years, many of whom have been lost to my memory. This cowboy remains strong and clear in my mind. Here is the original poem:
ON THE PIONEER
We meet on the Pioneer
somewhere near Rawlins.
Each headed west to Portland
another twenty hours away.
Early 1980s—I lived in Washington, D.C. and worked on Capitol Hill. In those days, a presentable young gay man who owned his own dinner jacket could go to all sorts of places, such as escorting (respectably!) well-known ladies to events like the Kennedy Center Honors. I was fortunate to be assigned legendary actress Jeanne Moreau, mostly because I could speak a certain level of fractured French. When I tried out la langue, she said I was absolutement trop cher and would I please go buy her a pack of cigarettes. A lovely woman, whom I was fortunate to meet. She died today in Paris.
Many of us have at least one photo that when displayed elicits the response from others, “You used to be hot.” The gay male friend who makes such a comment would insist it’s a compliment. But, some of us mentally end the sentence with “and you’re not now.” If we’re able to laugh, we can move on. If we take offense, we’ll stay stuck in suffering.
Ms. Matlock: This week we are going to learn how to write a well-structured letter.
Me (to myself): Cool
Ms. Matlock: Each of you is going to write a letter to Michael Eisner. He is the CEO of Disney.
May 1994, the ex, my bff Doug and myself jetted off on a 2 week adventure in Turkey. We began in the port of Marmaris, where we boarded our chartered gulet, with a 2 man crew, for 7 days of sailing pristine blue waters, east to the Lycean tombs of Fethiye, west to Rhodes, stopping along the way at deserted islands, viewing ancient ruins, eating like princes and swimming the chilly Mediterranean.
“No Gay People in Cambodia” 2006 – I’ve had the great privilege to work from age 26 to 70 educating people around the world with the truth on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s personal and professional awakenings, challenges, and strengths.
Ray would travel with me when the Investment Banks brought me to their offices in Europe and Asia. This photo was taken in Jaipur, shortly after I spoke in Mumbai.
I’ve described how, in 1976, I met Willie Wilson, who introduced me to the passionate joy of infatuation between men. While visiting DC and in need of a one-night stand, he ran into me, a “near-virgin” at 23, at the Pier 9 disco, and came home with me. While pondering the failing three-way relationship he’d been in for 18 months in California, he stuck around for 2 weeks, long enough to rock my world.