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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.

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BAMMER and ME: Eric Sawyer and the Queer Liberation March

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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 2: Mike talks with LGBT Activist Eric Sawyer about the Queer Liberation March on Sunday, June 30, 2016, which runs three hours before the NYC World Pride March, and why we need this more than just a celebration of LGBTQ rights.

Fifty Years Ago

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Fifty years ago this week the Stonewall Riots took place. I do not recall hearing about these events at the time, as my mind was occupied with another rowdy group of men. It was mid-June, and I was on my way to the Boy Scout Jamboree in Farragut, Idaho, in a busload of teenage boys and young men. Our troop was made up of guys from across Butte County, none of whom I knew.

In Living Color

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I was 14 years old in the long-ago summer of 1969. My freshman year of high school approached but my concerns were still very boyish: bikes, a lawn-mowing business, Scouts, the upcoming moon landing. The leafy hills of Kansas City’s suburbs were far removed from the rest of the country, but even I knew of hippies, drugs and X-rated movies. Still, for a kid, much of life there was still stuck in the fifties.

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BAMMER and Me: Self Discovery

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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 1: Our first episode is about cross-generational perspectives on LGBTQ issues and themes between Mike Balaban and 25-year-old millennial documentarian, Caleb Holland.

Like a Virgin

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Like most young men in America, I had gone my entire life believing I was meant to be with a woman. I had some satisfying sexual and romantic relationships with them, fell in love with one once, and truly convinced myself this was my path. But, I wasn’t being honest with myself. An unexplored side of me felt drawn to men. And so, right around my 33rd birthday, my body turned off to women completely. I just couldn’t get it up with them anymore.

Independence Day

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“Catherine and I had been together for seven years. It had been a hard relationship since the second-parent adoption and I was beginning to see, for my sake as well as our daughter’s that something needed to be done.”

It’s July 3rd, 2010. Just being in the same room as Isa fills my heart. She’s only three and a half and I am head over heels in love with this little being. I am dressing her in the coolest Ralph Lauren red vintage cowboy boots given to her by Daddy Quark, her birth father. I watch how her whole personality changes when she puts her boots on. She has this air of confidence and coolness about her. Almost badass. I giggle inside. Isa looks at herself in the mirror when I put her jean jacket on. She flicks her little blond curls. Very cinema. I pick her up and immediately feel the weight of a tired child. Once she hears the hum of the car engine, she will be fast asleep.

No More Swinging Dicks

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SNAPSHOTS: When I was in Fort Lauderdale on a year-end vacation in 2014, a friend and I decided to stop by Swinging Richards, the Pompano Beach spinoff of an Atlanta institution. The Swinging Richards we visited was a large, fairly upscale-looking nightclub situated in a desolate warehouse district to avoid prying eyes. Inside, the club offered a nightly-changing array of handsome, buff male dancers who stripped completely naked, while pole dancing for a largely gay male clientele. And, even though it was the night before New Year’s Eve, the club was packed.

A Brief Encounter (Istanbul 2015)

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A good friend once told me, “Never trust a married man. Just by being involved with you, lying is part of who he is.”
 
Sexual relations between men has been legal in Turkey since long before it became a nation and was a somewhat a common but unspoken thing in the old Ottoman Empire. Today, Turkey is still very much a traditional culture and most Turkish men are pressured to marry and have children—regardless of their sexuality. I, myself, am pretty much out, single, and live a somewhat open gay lifestyle. The result is that, for me, dating can be fraught with risk, as there are a lot of “straight” married men just looking to mess around.

On Trial

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It was like being naked and shot at by a firing squad. The year is 2010 and I am in court, battling for the custody of my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter. I’m standing there next to my attorney, Susan Daley. I am dressed in all white. Simple yet elegant. I want the judge to see me. My face. My eyes. My soul.