gays + dads + long ass days

June 24, 2011

I meant to post this on Sunday or Monday, but the week has gotten away from me as far as writing. But I’m saying that right off the the bat here to give some context to what I say later about Father’s day.

The internet says that the sunset today was at 9:03pm, but I don’t know how the internet defines sunset, because it was still light out at 9:30. I’m guessing it must be something about where the sun is on the horizon line. Maybe I’ve been confusing sunset with sun down. Anyway, these long days are amazing, even when it’s cloudy. Looking out the window tonight, I was thinking that’s what’s gotten me through this spring, focusing on the long hours of daylight. Even when it’s raining or chilly, it is light out for along time.

I went with some friends up to Mt Tabor on solstice. We were too late to actually watch the sunset, but we did see a beautiful dusk. Lots of people had the same idea. It’s a great view. There was even some drumming, which was kind of annoying, but I appreciated the sincerity of it. I got quite a few mosquito bites when we were up there, which I can’t stop scratching now. I’m one of those people who seems to attract mosquitoes. It’s a bummer. I’m also one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap and who can smell asparagus in pee. I read the articles in these links and I think we’re kind of like perti dishes with arms and legs and brains and stuff.

Father’s day always occurs during Portland’s gay pride, which I suppose adds something special to both events. While I’ve celebrated Pride ever since I moved out here, give or take a few MIA’s due to out of town guests, I can’t think of the last time I celebrated father’s day, at least not in regard to my own Dad. Sometimes that makes me a little sad, but this year I found a lot of joy in thinking about all the great Dads I know, whom I’m going to try to name here (although inevitably I’ll miss someone and I apologize in advance for that). So here goes – the ‘great dad’ shout out: David, Ned, Bart, Jim R, Jim A, Jim D, Jim P, Jim L, Phil, Mark, Jason, Don, Chris B, Chris C, Chris H, Mack, Ray, Todd, Jeremy, Scott, Clint, Joe, Greg, Rick, Mark, John, Jamie, Erik, Toby, Sean, Brian, Daniel R and Daniel G. Plus, an extra special shout to a few fellas who were fatherly to me, (in the best possible way) – my uncles Bob and Richard and my friend, Bob Richards. And last but not least, a heartfelt ‘you’re the best’ to my closest friend’s dad, Ted, who stood up for me when I was getting outted at camp and some mean-ass petty shit was going down around me.

I imagine there are lots of gay dads and dads of gays who come to one of the Pride events. I marched with OHSU in the big parade on Sunday and a couple dads, who are fellow workers, brought their sons with them.  That is one thing that’s changed since I came out – how family friendly being gay is and how much Pride reflects that. The decadence of Pride has been turned way down, which frankly makes it less fun to watch, but that’s progress for you.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of all the things that have and haven’t changed about being gay over the 30 years I’ve been out. For instance the rainbow as a gay symbol has persisted, but not the pink triangle or the labrys. And lesbians don’t seem to wear lavender anymore either. Bears and drag queens are still around and going strong. Gym queens and drag kings arrived on the scene sometime in late 80’s or early 90’s and they are here to stay. Butches and femmes made a comeback after being ostracized back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. More people are coming out in high school than they were 30 years ago. And more folks are transitioning from female to male or male to female. Queer nation kinda came and went but queerness stayed around. Whew, I had much more enthusiasm for this exercise when I first started. I think I’ll come back to it another post.



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the first day of summer 2011

June 5, 2011

Yesterday was the first real day of summer we’ve had. It was sunny and in the 80s and it seemed like everyone was outside. People were wearing flip flops and sandals and tank tops and shorts and sleeveless dresses and little skirts and cut up t-shirts and sunglasses. Kids were running around in their swimsuits and turning the hose on each other. People were smiling. They were talking about whether or not they had on enough sun screen. They were riding their bikes and rolling down the windows of their cars. They were mowing their yards and pulling weeds and they said hi when we walked by them.

RU and I rode our bikes to Colonel Summers park, which was filled with clusters of people on blankets laid out in the sun. Lots of guys had their shirts off. Lots of gals were wearing bikinis or at least bikini tops. People were eating and drinking and reading and sleeping and throwing things for their dogs to chase down and bring back. Someone had a grill. Someone else was hitting a tennis ball against the practice wall. A couple guys were throwing a frisbee. There was a pickup game of Chicago style softball,which was fun to watch. A few of the players really hit the crap out of the ball.

RU and I rode our bikes to Pok Pok and got a table outside. The food was sooo good. We rode home and I watered the vegetables. We slept with the windows open and under only one cover and instead of two.

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