I know I'll never forgot turning on the TV for a special announcement from Governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey, in August of 2004. I just sat there waiting for something else to come on because I thought it would be another boring political speech that would run too long and contain nothing of substance like most political speeches. But when McGreevey said that he was a "gay American" I turned up the volume. That was ten years ago and a great deal has changed since that time. And this link talks about where McGreevey is now, ten years after that unprecedented announcement.
Ten years after he announced that he was a "gay American" and would resign from office after a scandal-plagued stint as New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey is back in government, this time mostly as an evangelist for prison reform.
McGreevey, now 57, runs transitional programs for those getting out of prison and returning to Jersey City, where the mayor sees him as a policy and political adviser.
"This is the ideal intersection of faith and service and government policy," McGreevey said in an Associated Press interview this month.
I remember meeting McGreevey in person once. We had a business in Lambertville, NJ, which is a mile from where we live in New Hope, PA. McGreevey was walking in some kind of parade at the time, which is a big thing for a Governor to do in a small town like Lambertville. Frankly, I knew he was gay just by looking at him that day. Of course had I mentioned that to anyone at the time I would have been slammed hard for making an "accusation." Times were different, but not all that different in some cases. Make the same remark about any other male politician today and there will still be shame attached to it. That's what we still need to work on the most. The shame. There's nothing wrong with being gay. Repeat that until you "get" it. We don't have to live in a world where there are no labels. There's nothing wrong with labels unless we attach shame to those labels.
You can read more here. The article goes into more detail about McGreevey's reasons for resigning and coming out the way he did in such a public way. It wasn't all about taking pride in being gay. I think some of it was. But not all, not by any means.
Gay Cruising In Underwear
Some of the critics in the m/m genre don't always appreciate gay culture as it is...and as it always has been. I'm not talking about readers now. I think all my readers, male and female, "get" what gay culture is all about. I'm talking about a handful of rather loud voices who review "professionally" and write blog posts about gay men as if they're talking about lab rats.
Unfortunately, m/m authors can't dispute any of their claims because the authors would be considered badly behaving authors. But bloggers can do whatever the hell they want, which is the best perk about blogging. One of these reviewers I'll refer to as the "brightest star in the sky" who reviews m/m all the time with his/her own personal take on how gay men really are is about as far off on real gay culture as Joan Rivers is on fashion. But I think this link I'm posting about right now is only more proof that cruising and the element of danger with regard to gay sex is a huge part of the culture, whether you like it or not. It's just a fact and it can't be disputed no matter how hard the asexual crowd tries.
Usually when you pass a hitchhiker your immediate thought is to keep going. But, if you were to pass by Char DeFrancesco you would probably slam on the brakes, especially since he’s lost and all he has on is his underwear. In this exclusive photo shoot from Marco Ovando for The Underwear Expert, Char is just trying to catch a ride! He tests which underwear will catch him a ride the quickest by changing it up. There are looks from Baskit to Marco Marco, and then Char slips on some Wood Underwear and finally ends up in C-IN2. We’re not sure if he’ll ever make it home looking like that!
You can read more here, and see the photos of Char cruising the highway in his underwear. It all looks like fun and games on the surface, but there's a deeper meaning here and a strong symbolic reference I could write a book about. In fact, this could be one of the ultimate fantasies for most gay men...yes, even those who try to assimilate the most.
Drag Face Turn Off
This is interesting to me because I sometimes write stories with characters who cross lines with gender bending. I don't write them often, but the few times I have (Down the Basement) they've received more attention than I thought they would. In this next link an artist took vintage photos of hot, hairy butch men and put them in drag face. The results where what most of us would expect.
“I’m doing a series of paintings of vintage ultra macho porn stars, with shaved faces in full drag face. It’s interesting how without the face, the paintings are very erotic and suddenly in face it’s a strange turn off. Just a fun exercise but I’m excited to be showing so quickly in my new city.”
This is interesting, too.
As a drag performer in San Francisco, I was often made very aware of the power feminine transformation has over our sexual boundaries and comfort zones as gay men. The joke has always been that a boy must be prepared to sacrifice his sex life in order to work in this specific creative medium. And to a certain degree, this can be true.
You can read more here, and see a few photos.
Here's one of the gender bending stories I wrote where the exact opposite of this is true. This little gender bender gets more than his share of attention...and sex...but with straight frat boys who don't know he's in drag, not with gay men. The straight guys think he's a real woman, and the story is not all fiction.
Down the Basement
by Ryan Field
Ryan Field is top of the class when it comes to cross dressing and female attire erotica and this is one of his hottest. The sense of danger as Rush takes care of the drunken jocks who could suddenly discover his secret and beat him up is palpable as is the erotic tension. The situation is plausible and the 'surprise' ending is a nice touch.