Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thought for the Day, #26

"His secret he cannot reveal, not even to himself, for fear that it will consume him completely. Deep inside, far from the light of awareness the secret lives.  Go down beneath the layers of public facade, personal myth, and fantasy.  Peel away the well-crafted layers, for only then can you see the secret clearly for what it is: his own self-hatred."

(From Chapter 1, "The Little Boy with the Big Secret," in The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World, by Alan Downs, Ph.D., p. 17)


  1. Hey Rick! Just got back from the States, and was able to find this book at Barnes & Noble, and read it while I was there. (I thought it might help with the volunteer work...) I was struck by how sad it was in places. I keep hoping/thinking that things are getting better, and then a book like this seems to suggest that there's still so much work to do.

    I'm sending you an email with a picture from a day we spent in NYC, you'll never guess what we happened to park next to...

  2. Sarah, how wonderful to hear from you again. I was worried something had happened. I'm relieved to hear you're back safely from your trip.

    I knew Downs's book would give me deep insight into the experience of being a gay male, and it did. It also helped to confirm everything I've learned over the years about gay men in general from my own experience and that of other gay men. A real eye-opener.

    The shame of it is, many gay men will not pick up this book and read it because it will bring them too much pain, and we're all about avoiding pain (we've experiences too much of it already). So that's why I've chosen to share bits and pieces on my blog, with the hope something will resonate, and gay men will resolve to learn more about themselves, and why they do what they do.

    In terms of the work left to be done, you don't know the half of it. Because, while circumstances for gay people continue to improve in the external world, the real damage is internal--in the spirit and the soul.

    I wrote a post once about how things are better for us now, but, internally, we haven't kept up the pace. We have a long way to go to appreciate how valuable we are, to know our self-worth. I wish I could do so much more with my blog. It frustrates me that I can't.

    As always, thanks for checking out what I have to say and for taking the time to leave a comment. I always love to hear from you and to feel the love over the miles.

  3. I always read your blog, Rick, even when I don't leave comments. Sometimes I don't feel like I have anything to contribute, since I only know about the issues you (and other gay men) are dealing with in a very peripheral way, but I always come back and check out your posts.... :)

  4. Thanks, Sarah, for the confirmation that you're always there. I appreciate knowing you have an ongoing interest in what I have to say, and that you're willing to be a part of the conversation when you feel you have something to contribute. I really appreciate your support.