Monday, May 2, 2011


With Chris now back at work following a week of vacation, it's time to return to writing posts for my blog.  My apologies to those of you who visited but didn't find much new.  I appreciate your patience.  I hope you're still with me, and that I'll write something worthy of your ongoing interest.    

A week or so ago, I received two personal emails from readers I'd never heard from before.  One had followed my blog for a while; the other had just discovered it.  The former wrote she felt a sense of comfort reading it, and the latter called it a "little oasis."  Both opened my eyes to how others perceive what I'm trying to do here.

Perhaps in a way I'd never considered before, my blog is a haven of sorts, a place where I've created not just a community, but also a family of like-minded people, who are supportive and encouraging.  Readers say they feel warmth and love here, and I can't think of a greater compliment.

As I approach the three-hundredth post, written over a twenty-six-month period, I thought I would share with you some random thoughts about my blog--what I want it to be, what I hope it is, and what it could be.  I welcome your comments on any or all of this.


From the start, I wanted this to be a place where people wouldn't find blatant sex or pornography.  The Internet is full enough with that sort of thing.  Sex and pornography has its time and place, but there's room for something else, too--something hopefully thought-provoking, informative, and helpful.  Feedback I've received tells me this approach is appreciated.  My intention is to continue presenting the other side of being gay, the non-sexual side.


I still consider my relationship with Chris to be the core of my blog.  As I read other blogs, I'm struck by the number of times people write about how lonely they are, the steps they've taken to meet significant others, and how much they want to settle down.  One of my goals has always been to write openly and honestly about what Chris and I share, hopefully, as an inspiration to single gay people and to other gay couples.  I've heard readers consider us an example, and I hope you'll continue to look at us that way.


Unexpectedly, I think I'm helping to change the reputation of older gay men as "trolls," out to pick up much younger men.  I couldn't be further from the type who used to leer and smirk at me, when I was in my teens and twenties.  Those men creeped me out, and I swore I'd never turn into them.  Through my writing, I hope I've broken not only the "dirty-gay-old-man" stereotype but also shown older gay people live full and worthwhile lives, and have something important to offer those who are willing to listen.  


One of the things I've been able to do is present some diversity within the gay community.  Sure, there are those who, because of low self-esteem, live what is considered the stereotypical gay lifestyle--that is, drinking, drugging, and sex. But I hope my writing has also shown gay people can make different choices--choices more consistent with their self-respect.  If my writing helps even one gay person to realize his self-worth and to love himself, my effort will have been well spent.


Based on the feedback I've received over the past months, I have the impression some LGBTQ people, especially those who are young, look at me as a trusted and respected authority on what it's like to be gay.  I'm happy to take on this role. After all, I'll be 52 this year, I've been in and out of the closet, I've been single and partnered, I've had low self-esteem and worked hard to improve it, and I've spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to be gay.  Hopefully, I will continue to write on topics that resonate and provide direction people find useful.

As I close, I'll leave you with a few more comments from readers.  I invite you to respond to any post I've written on my blog.  I appreciate your interest in what I have to say, and I always love hearing from you.  You are the reason why I try to write something that matters.

"Fortunately, my self-esteem is finally improving.  Your blog has had a lot to do with that...."

"Thanks again for your blog, and for helping me to find a strengthened sense of self.  It almost brings tears to my eyes as I consider the significance of what you're doing."

"I enjoyed so much your blog.  Something simple and sophisticated where it is possible to find some sort of warmth and love.  I felt comfortable in your space."


  1. You're so cute, Heather. Thanks for the sentiment. I appreciate it.

  2. Thank you so much for saying that, Strange Boy (feels so weird addressing you that way). I sincerely hope you find something here that is both helpful and uplifting.

  3. Wow, Rick, you couldn't ask for more, really. People who see your site as a refuge, and as a place that builds them up. Clearly, you're on the right track. I was just at the youth group last night (I'll email today), and reading what people have said about your blog reminds me of that youth space: These kids who are possibly not able to express themselves in their schools (they are high school and uni age) sitting laughing, chatting with each other, a couple of them paired up, arms around each other, knowing that they don't have to worry when they do that. There's something very special and comforting about a place where you can be yourself. Kudos to you!

  4. Rick, I wish your blog had been around when I was in my teens and twenties! I imagine most gay youth lack gay mentors in their lives, and have no where to turn for perspective and advice. Most gay sites and/or blogs do not provide the warm, personal, and sensible thoughts that you offer. Kudos to you for taking the time and effort to help so many with such dedication!! (and kudos to Chris for being the other crucial part of your team : )

  5. @Sarah: Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. You know, I just wish I could reach more people. If I can have this kind of impact on a few, imagine what I could do to help even more. Perhaps in time.

    I know my blog receives an average of one hundred page views per day, from all around the world. I don't hear from everyone, but I have to believe many return readers draw something from my words and just don't write to tell me about it. Of course, I'd love to hear from everyone, but I know that's not realistic. Those who I do hear from, though, really make my day.

    I'm excited to hear about your experiences with the youth group. Here's an idea. You have a blog you haven't used in a while. Why don't you write about it there, on an ongoing basis, so all of us can watch and learn? Just an idea. I hate to see your blog go to waste.

    @Doug: I wish my blog had been around when I was in my teens and twenties, too. That said, I'm always concerned today's LGBTQ youth won't think what I write is relevant to their lives, or no one will want to pay attention to an older gay man, with an opinion about what being gay means, and how best to live a gay life. That's why it's so gratifying when I receive positive feedback from readers, both young and not so young.

    As always, I so much appreciate all of your kind words, and, in this case, your acknowledgement of Chris's role in what I do. Not only does he support us financially (which allows me to devote so much time to this blog), but also he supports all of my efforts to reach out to other people, including writing about very personal aspects of our relationship. What's the expression? Behind every successful man....

    Many thanks to you both for your comments. You are the best!

  6. Hi Rick, I see what you're saying, but think I'd rather just share here, because I don't want to seem like I'm taking advantage of them letting me be a part of their group, it just seems too invasive to do it on an ongoing basis. I was going to email you, but here I am, so...

    There isn't too much to tell, to be honest, other than that the last couple of times, I don't feel like such an outsider anymore. It's a very close-knit group, and I was very quiet at first, because they all knew each other, and I just thought it would be better than trying to force the "get to know you" issue. I'm quite a bit older than the other facilitators, more like a "mom" figure than a friend, I guess, so at first I felt a bit out of it, to be honest. But, every time I go, I find myself talking to a different person, and learning about what they do or like. The thing is, these are kids who have made to decision to go to an LGBT youth group, so they're pretty confident already. They really care about each other, and welcome new kids, it's wonderful to see. Just a very nice, down to earth group. I look forward to every meeting. I am SO glad I started doing this!!

  7. Sarah, I see your point, and it's a good one. I hadn't thought of that. I know if I were in your shoes, I'd feel the same way. Thanks for helping me to understand.

    And thanks for sharing the little bit you did about your experience so far. In time, I think being the "mom" figure might work to your advantage. I bet a number of the kids could use a mom in their lives and, at some point, once trust is built, will look to you for that kind of support.

    Sounds like it's tough to become one of the gang, but I'm sure it will be worth the effort. Hang in there. Your enthusiasm comes through, and I have no doubt this will be a great experience, for you and for them.

  8. I'm glad you are back Rick. I checked for your posts everyday. I especially like your 'thoughts for the day'. Keep them coming!


  9. Great to hear from you again, Donald.
    And just when I thought no one was much interested in my "Thoughts for the Day." I haven't received a lot of feedback on them, but your comment tells me maybe I was wrong.
    I think a lot of my readers probably appreciate the shorter posts, so, as I find something quick to share, I'll be sure to publish it here.
    Thanks for coming back and for your comment.

  10. Nice comment, Katie. I love the guardian angel story. I see how you would gather strength from your uncle, especially since he was gay himself.

    I appreciate your trust and your interest in my blog as a source of advice and information. If you ever have a specific question you think I could help you with, just let me know. That invitation is open to any and all of my readers.

    Thanks again for your comment. I look forward to hearing from you again and often.