Here's a link to several gay Thanksgiving parties around the globe...if you're traveling or you just want to get away from all the family stuff. Traditionally, it's interesting because LGBT people found ways to celebrate holidays with their own "family" ...most were not welcomed by their real families. Or, they suffered through the straight holiday, in the closet, and went out for some peace of mind afterward (with a banging headache and enough frustration to finish a gallon of vodka). And although things have changed a great deal in recent years, for the better in many cases, there are still a few parties and events happening for those who still crave that peace of mind, don't want to hear sticky fingered kids scream, and really need to be with other gay people. There's a little sarcasm there, but not much.
Why should we be thankful? Let us count the ways: Sexy go-go boys, dozens of jamming DJ’s, Miley Cyrus (thanks for the twerking, btw) and a slew of turkey-themed parties. So whether you’re in New York or Tampa Bay, grab your lumbersexual flannel and get ready to dance the night away.
Here's what's happening in New York:
If there’s one thing I’m thankful for this year, it’s the model on the POSH Thanksgiving poster. Here’s to watching him get down to beats from DJ Scott Goodz and hand out some of those special sliders. And while we’re at it, the beer and hip location in Hell’s Kitchen are all pretty sweet Thanksgiving perks.
You can read the rest here, they even mention Mexico. For many years Tony and I went to separate family Thanksgivings and met up later at a friend's house for a second Thanksgiving dinner. (No self-respecting gay person eats before 8pm, even on Thanksgiving.) The friend hosted a huge Thanksgiving for gay people who didn't have family...or weren't welcome with family. In a way I kind of miss it...mostly the friends who aren't here any longer.
Davey Wavey's Underpants
Often spotted naked online, Davey Wavey, gay youtube star and comical adviser of all things snark and gay, is starting his own underwear line. And it's not his used underpants. It's called DirtyFit and it has "penispouch" technology. I swear I am not making this up. I'm not sure what penispouch technology is, but I have a feeling Apple and Samsung won't be fighting over it.
How is Wavey getting the money to fund this little venture? Where else? Kickstarter.
Help him out here by backing his underwear project, and get some awesome rewards in return. Just donating, you’ll already be one degree of separation from Davey, and that’s incentive enough for us! Watch the video below to learn more about DirtyFit, and Davey’s mission to make the world sexier than ever.
Here's a link, where there's another link to Davey Wavey's begging for money campaign for underwear, if you want to make a donation for underwear with "penispouch" technology. Or, you could make a donation to a multitude of charities that range from cancer to AIDS research...or anything that you know will help your money go to a good cause that's going to help make someone's life a little better.
Free Gay Christmas Excerpt: Chase of a Christmas Dream
Here's an excerpt from my newest book, Chase of a Christmas Dream, that will be released sometime next week in places where e-books are sold. This one will run 30,000 words, it's part of the continuing saga of Jim and Len Mayfield in the Chase love series, and it has a very happy ending. And it's a stand alone, meaning you don't need to read the rest of the series to know what's happening. I despise cliff hangers.
I'll post more about this toward the end of the year, plus about a few other changes I have planned that I think readers will like. At least I'm hoping they'll like them.
In any event, here's the cover...still a work in progress. And below is the excerpt, never published before.
"I had a dream about my dad last night," little Culum said. It was a few days before Christmas at COAL Ranch and he was eating his favorite breakfast: cold pizza and scrambled eggs.
Normally, Jim did not allow cold pizza for breakfast, but Culum was so excited about all the people who were coming to visit for the holidays Len convinced Jim a little cold pizza with his eggs would not harm the kid this one time. Jim sighed and agreed, finding comfort in knowing that at least the eggs were organic.
Len reached for a small carton of cream and he exchanged a quick glance with Jim. Culum tended to be an unobtrusive child who often floored both Jim and Len at the most unusual times with one simple comment.
Jim smiled and said, "That's nice, Culum. Would you like to talk about the dream?" Although Culum commonly referred to Len and Jim as his “dads” because they were raising him and they had legally adopted him, Len was actually Culum's biological grandfather. Jim knew that when Culum said he had been dreaming about his "dad," in that context, he was talking about Cain Mayfield, his biological dad who had passed away at a young age. Cain Mayfield had been Len's son from a previous marriage and he had allowed Len and Jim to adopt Culum legally.
Len frowned and poured cream into his coffee. Jim knew he still did not like talking about Cain because it hurt so much. Len was not the type of man who talked about his feelings or emotions aloud, at least not often. He had lost his only son so suddenly he still had not gotten over the shock and whenever Cain's name was mentioned this way his entire body seemed to recoil in retaliation.
Jim still missed Cain, too. They had been the same age. He had been Cain's best friend growing up in Texas and they had been closer than brothers. However, he thought it was important for Culum to talk about these things and get them out in the open, so he put Culum's needs above his own and Len's in this case all the time. "What was the dream about, Culum? I really want to hear about it."
Culum dropped a chunk of pizza on the floor for the dog, Clinger, and thought about the question for a moment. When he looked up at Jim, he shook his head and said, "Not right now. I don't want to be late for school today. We're having a party. Dad said he'd come back and remind me in another dream."
Jim tilted his head. "He did?"
Culum nodded. "He usually does that in the dreams."
This was news to Jim. "Do you dream about him a lot?"
Culum shrugged. "Not that much. But I do."
It broke Jim's heart to hear Culum talk that way about Cain. Jim never dreamed of Cain, and it had always bothered him. He never could fill the void of losing Cain. "Whenever you're ready to talk, we're here."
Len sat up and said, "Then we'd better get moving, kiddo. I don't want to be late either." He smiled at Jim and said, "We're having the office party today at lunchtime. I wish you could make it. You'd really like this restaurant." This was typical of Len: avoid all the emotional issues. A spiritual experience for Len consisted of eating a whole pizza alone and watching sports on TV.
Jim smiled and he let the dream issue go. Like anyone who has been married for a while, he knew how to select his battles. Culum did not seem to want to talk about it and Jim knew Len did not want him to pursue the topic, especially not that early in the morning. "I really wish I could go, Len. You know how swamped I am right now. I'll be at the Dude ranch for a while with Caleb."
Caleb was Len's younger brother, an ex-priest who was identical to Jim's dead son, Cain. Jim had worked in marketing and he had recently quit his job for various reasons. His dad in Texas had been diagnosed with cancer that year, his assistant, Arturo, had been killed in a hit and run accident, and his responsibilities at COAL Ranch and the all-gay dude ranch they owned on the property next door took up all of his time now. He still worked from home with a few of his online marketing clients, but he did not miss having to go to an office in downtown Los Angeles and answering to a boss anymore. Plus, he was growing tired of working in an online environment. The lawless, old Wild West feel of the Internet continued to grow more vituperative as each day passed. The ultimate goal was for Len to retire early from running the family company, Branson Communications, so they could run their businesses together and simplify their lives.
Len leaned over to help Culum climb down from his chair at the kitchen table and said, "I understand, and you know I don't mind in the least. I just wanted you to have some fun for a change. You've been working more now than when you worked for the marketing firm."
Jim stood up and reached for a few empty breakfast plates so he could begin loading the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. "I'm okay,” he said. "I really am. I am actually more relaxed than I have ever been. I love everything I'm doing." His worst fear about quitting the marketing firm had been not having enough to do.
Len handed Culum a jacket and said, "I still want you to think about hiring a new assistant to take over Arturo's responsibilities, and someone else for the dude ranch."
No one could ever replace Arturo, on the ranch or in Jim’s heart. Jim set the dishes on the white marble counter next to the new farm sink he'd had installed and said, "I will. I'm just not ready yet. I can't even think about replacing Arturo with anyone else. It wouldn't seem right. I need time. I'd rather wait until after the new year."
"I guess I can't argue with you," Len said. He crossed to the sink so he could kiss Jim goodbye. "I can't seem to picture anyone taking Arturo's place either. Damn, I miss that guy so much sometimes."
Culum said, "I miss Arturo as much as I miss my dad.”
It broke Jim's heart to hear Culum say he missed Cain and Arturo. The poor kid had lost two of the most influential people in his life in a relatively short time span. Jim knew he had to say something fast, so he walked over to the door where Culum was waiting for Len and bent down to hug him. "Well you have nothing to worry about, Culum. I am not hiring anyone for a while and your only concern is to have fun at your Christmas party at school today. That's it. Plain and simple."
Culum rolled his eyes. "Dad, I told you that you're not supposed to say that. It's not a Christmas party. It's a Holiday party." Culum went to a small, private advanced pre-school in West Hollywood called Over the Rainbow Tots, where the gay owners were often too progressive, too liberal, and painfully politically correct.
Jim smiled. He found all this amusing.
Len, who tended to be more conservative on these matters, frowned and said, "Well, around here we call Christmas Christmas, young man. If you have to call it a Holiday party at school, that's fine. I don't want you breaking the rules at school. You have to follow the rules of society the same way in order to grow up to be a responsible man. I understand that. But just so you know, you and the rest of this family are celebrating Christmas just as all other cultures are allowed to celebrate their own holidays without question. And in this house, we call it Christmas." He looked at Jim and tilted his head sideways. "Plain and simple."
"Calm down, Len," Jim said. "It's only a word. We know we're celebrating Christmas." Jim had begun to self-censor comments lately because he was now terrified to offend anyone by wishing them a Merry Christmas instead of a Happy Holiday. Len never seemed to care who he offended, which is why his mother, Doris Branson, did not get along with him. Len and Doris were too much alike to understand each other.
The nice thing about Len was that he often made his point clear and concise, and then he moved on to topics that were more important. Len patted Culum on top of the head and said, "Kiss your dad goodbye and wait for me outside. I'll be right there, kiddo."
Culum kissed Jim, hugged Clinger, and turned toward the back door that would lead him out to a veranda. "See you later, Clinger. Love you, dad."
Jim watched him leave. The big frisky Labrador wagged his tail so hard his entire back end wiggled. "Love you, too. Have a good day."
After he left, Jim looked at Len and said, "He's growing up so fast. I really want this Christmas to be special for him. Before you know it he'll be a teenager and he won't care about anything but going out with friends."
Len took a few steps toward Jim and put his arms around him. "We have plenty of time for that. This is going to be a great Christmas. We all deserve it after the year we've been through."
Jim nodded in agreement, but he was worried something might ruin Christmas. "You can say that again." It had been a complicated year. Jim's dad had been diagnosed with cancer and had serious surgery, they had lost Arturo so suddenly, and Len's widowed mom, Doris, had started dating a Catholic Monsignor she had been good friends with for many years. All of this, on top of meeting up with a guy from Beverly Hills named Hal Robertson who had almost gotten Jim killed while he'd been in the process of selling the medical marijuana dispensaries he'd inherited from an old friend, Carol Greene.
"How's your dad doing?" Len asked.
Jim shrugged. He spoke to his parents daily now. "I think he's doing okay. He keeps talking about how he can't wait to fly out here this weekend for Christmas." Although Jim's dad, Radcliff, wasn't supposed to have follow up treatments after his cancer surgery, it turned out they'd found more cancer cells and the surgeon said Radcliff's only chance of living longer would be for him to do chemotherapy. Radcliff had chosen to do the chemo in Texas, where Jim's parents still lived. He was in the middle of his second treatment and the docs had given him a week off for the holidays so he could fly to Chatsworth, California and spend them with his family. Doris, Len's mom, was flying into Texas in her private company jet and she was picking them up on her way from Connecticut so Radcliff would not have to fly commercial and be exposed to all kinds of germs in his compromised condition.
"I wish they'd move out here to Chatsworth for good," Len said. "It would make things so much easier. And they love it here." Radcliff and Len had ben best friends back in Texas all the years Jim had been growing up. Of course, when Jim fell in love with Len right after Jim graduated from Princeton and his parents found out he was sleeping with an older man they had been friends with all those years it created tension that Jim thought would never be resolved. However, they all came to terms with their circumstances, thanks mainly to Culum, and things had been better than they were before. When they were all together now, it was an unusual family with more than a few fundamental flaws and inconsistencies, but a family that loved and supported each other completely.
"I wish they would move, too," Jim said. "But you know my dad and Texas. I'm not sure he'll ever leave. I just hope he is well enough to fly out here this week. I told them we could all fly to Texas and celebrate Christmas there."
"I think they want to come out here to the ranch," Len said. "I think this ranch and the good memories here are important. It gives them something to look forward to that helps get them through the chemo treatments." They had spent a good deal of time at the ranch during Radcliff's surgery, because he had chosen to have it done in Los Angeles.
Jim put his arms around Len and hugged him. "I agree. And thanks for being so understanding. You have been my rock through all of this. I don't know what I'd do without you." He reached down between Len's legs and grabbed him in a playful way. He felt him grow erect almost instantly and he smiled. Even though there was a seventeen-year age difference between them, and Jim was in his twenties and Len in his early forties, Len still did not look all that different than he had looked when he was in college and he'd posed nude for a Playgirl centerfold to make extra money for his expenses. At the time, Len's family in Connecticut had disowned him for getting a girl pregnant and he had only had a small trust fund from his maternal grandfather to pay his tuition. In order to survive, Len had done anything he had to do to make money and using his magnificent male model body and face had been one of his options.