Parting Glances Septuagenarianly Speaking
By Charles Alexander
Originally printed 8/7/2014 (Issue 2232 - Between The Lines News)
I just turned 70 something or other a couple of months ago, though I actually look much younger with the help of a portable scrim, a Sunset Boulevard screen, and a 60-watt bulb, with five year guarantee. Transporting same is problematic when making out.
Some say I'm riding the down escalator of life, but I keep on two-stepping it back to the top. It's one way to get my exercise. I wave going up as well as going down. (No pun intended.)
Most of my years have been spent chasing the pot of gold at the end of Judy's LGBT rainbow. While I don't have the gold, I do have the pot, and just a little of the high-heel spit polish.
I've had my fun in the sun, for which I'm happy. For something different to do I've thought about going straight or having a sex change (not quite the same thing as actually doing it). If an estimated 50 (or, is it 15?) ex-gays can pray, beg, borrow, or steal their way into bedding the opposite sex once or twice in a blue moon, why, oh, why, can't I during my harvest moon?
It's surely no worse than using somebody else's tooth brush or shower cap. And I would imagine it's no problem as long as you don't floss or wear the polka-dot shower cap to bed, unless your opposite sex partner is into water sports.
At my age what have I got to lose? I'm sure there's a senior citizen's home for ex-gays in some far-flung outpost of the Arizona Desert, say next to a compound for fundamentalist Mormons with several plural wives practicing regimented, Christian-missionary-position polygamy.
I confess, however, I do have reservations. (Those who are foolhardy enough to live past 70 usually do.) And while I don't have an ex-gay requisite wife or, redundant plural wives to nag me, I do have on-going, long-standing, nagging management considerations.
One advantage of being older is that you know how Life's Big Picture Ferris wheel turns. You see who gets on it, how long they go around in circles, where they get stuck - proverbial top or bottom - and how and when they get off. And get on again. And get off again. And . . .
I remember Tommy who came out when I did as a teenager in Detroit's downtown gay scene. A hairdresser, he wanted "to go straight," so he did do just that. (Being a hairdresser admittedly was something of a professional handicap, but he was determined.)
Years later, when his three kids were grown, he chose not to continue to hide his lavender light under a beaded bushel, returned to the fold (ours not the ex-gays), and said he had found "the best of both worlds." As a try-sexual, he probably did. God bless Tommy. So much for twirling a different baton.
I knew Ruth. Met her at a gay seniors group. After a lackluster marriage, she came out smiling as a lesbian at age 70. (She finally had good luck at cover-all Bingo!) And, there's my friend Dr. "Marathon Bob" Shimmel, married with grown children, retired in his mid-60s, who finally came out after many gay encounters enjoyed without realizing he himself just might be - you never know - gay.
When Dr. Bob finally got the courage to tell his wife while out on a Sunday drive that he realized he was gay, she said lovingly, "I've known that for quite some time, dear. Where do you want to stop for dinner?"
The AMA-approved gospel truth is that some of us are gay. Period. (Raise your hands.) Some of us are try, bi, transgendered, and some - there goes the neighborhood - are none of the above. Anyone who's been around the pedometer block a few times knows this simple fact of life.
Only some of us, simply can't get it straight. I'm one of them. Thankfully, too late to try.Charles@pridesource.com
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A study published in the journal The Lancet HIV reports that there is a significant disparity in HIV prevalence between black and white men who have sex with men. The study was published on Nov. 18 and found a startling 32 percent prevalence rate for black men who have sex with men, compared with only eight percent for white men who have sex with men.View More World AIDS Day
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