Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ramblings of a Gay Mad Man

     I don’t have a specific subject this week, so it is going to be a bit of a mish-mash of thoughts I've had this week. We’ll see if y’all can keep up. Yes, there will be a test! 

     First off, I need to make a few clarifications on my post from last week. Charlie Harding contacted me and let me know that there were a few facts that were not completely correct from the article I’d used as my reference. 
Top to Bottom 5: Daddy's Turn
Charlie Harding and Mike Dozer
     One is that he indeed has recently done his first bottom scene before on film, entitled Top to Bottom 5: Daddy’s Turn, with Colby Jensen. I thought so, but wasn't quite sure, which I did mention. Secondly, in the recent scene where he went bareback, he was not bottoming, which the article implied he was. He was topping and with a good friend of his, Mike Dozer. Since this is a good friend, they each knew each other’s status, and they therefore trust each other, additional testing was not needed. So I stand by my statement that it is an individual choice and no one else’s business. I’d like to thank Charlie for contacting me and setting the record straight. 

     This was the week of Thanksgiving here in the States, as I’m sure everyone knows. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have noticed. Several things crossed my mind. Sometime around Tuesday I noticed I was feeling a bit off for some reason. Of course my vertigo had decided to show its ugly head, so I thought that was it. Wrong. It persisted all through Wednesday until I finally realized what it was. I wasn't cooking! Now as most of you know, I was in the food and hospitality industry for most of my adult life, so cooking was something I was used to, along with working most holidays. If there was a holiday I wasn’t working, I was still cooking for family and/or friends. Mostly friends, but I’ll get into that later. The point is, I was feeling a bit odd about the whole thing. Antsy might be a good word. Just odd for me, is all. 

     Yes, I spent the holiday alone. No, I didn't have a problem with that. I really am quite happy with my own company and do not have an issue with being alone, even on a holiday. I did turn down a few dinner invitations, and that was my choice. Not to worry. I fixed myself a very nice dinner and was quite happy with it, and I didn't have to share the pecan pie! 

     I think my biggest issue was that I felt as if I was supposed to be doing something and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. You ever have that feeling you’d forgotten something really important that you needed to do, but couldn't remember? Yep, that is how I felt. Once I realized what it was I had to laugh at myself. I truly am a creature of habit. I tend to develop a routine and stick to it. Hell, I even make sure to put my toothbrush back exactly the same way every time. 

     This leads me back to what I referenced earlier when I said ‘family/friends’. I saw the above picture and I had an immediate reaction. Several, actually. My first thought was how I had chosen a family to spend time with, especially holidays. Those people who I called my friends, brothers and sometimes lovers. The next thought was a pang of hurt at having been rejected by part of my own family. 

     When I was nineteen or twenty, I can’t really remember, I was living in Knoxville, my hometown so to speak, and it was Thanksgiving. I had worked that morning, of course, and was racing to try and make it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. I stopped to get gas and then my car wouldn't start. Using a payphone—this was long before cellphones—I called my Uncle Pete to see if there wasn't someone who could come get me. I knew there was. Most all of my cousins, aunts and uncles were there, and it wasn't that far away, so I was pretty secure in feeling that I’d have a ride. He said they were just about to sit down to dinner and he would see what he could work out. 

     I sat there waiting for three hours. When I finally realized I was on my own and there would be no one to come and get me, I walked home. Back in those days there was nothing open, much less a garage or mechanic to deal with the car. On the way home I stopped by Gus’s Greek Diner, which was about the only thing open. They were Greek and didn’t really know much about the holiday so they were open for business. I had a great gyro, several baklava and called it a day. 

     The next day my mother called me, furious, wondering why I hadn't shown up for Thanksgiving dinner. When I told her she was dumbfounded. Seems my dear Uncle Pete never mentioned that my car had broken down. My uncle had become one of those born again Baptists and didn't approve of me or my ‘lifestyle’. I was able to calm my mother down and told her not to worry about it, stating that it had happened and there was nothing to be done about it now. 

     On a bit of a side note here: My cousin, dear Uncle Pete’s only son, attended Liberty College. For those who are not familiar with it, it was founded by Jerry Falwell, the leader of bible-thumping evangelists who promoted gay hate from the very beginning. The cousin got a Master’s Degree in Theology. He officiated at my aunt’s funeral, one of my favorite aunts, and it was so bad I sat in the back and giggled. His English was so bad, it was embarrassing. So much for that degree! 

     I only wish that dear Uncle Pete had lived long enough to see his idol arrested on drug charges. There was the homemade porn collection that included teenage boys going at it, along with several videos of bestiality, but the biggie was all the drugs the man had. When he was interviewed later, he said the devil had put those things in his house. I had to laugh. 

     Long story short, I never darkened dear Uncle Pete’s doorstep again. I was always working most holidays, and several years later I had moved far enough away to where I wasn't expected to make an appearance anyway. I’m sure it was a great relief to certain portions of my family, which suited me just fine. Whenever I was in close proximity, at other family functions that I did attend, I made sure to go out of my way to be as charming and as nice as I could be. 

     Years later, I was asked by one of my other cousins, dear Uncle Pete’s eldest daughter, why I was never around for other family functions. I politely told her that I refused to go where I wasn't wanted. She questioned me further and I told her the story of what her father had done. Poor, dear cousin’s face tightened and she apologized for her now dead father. I even got an invitation to her wedding, which was nice. I sent a lovely pair of crystal candle sticks with regrets. Too much water under that bridge. 

Over the years I made my own family. We always got together either on the actual holiday, or a day or two later. I can still remember the moaning of those who were forced to attend family gatherings. Most of them didn't want to attend but felt obligated, which made me cringe inside, wanting to yell, ‘then don’t!’ But each of us have to deal with our families and coming out on our own terms, so I kept my mouth shut for once. Not an easy feat for me. Even back then, I was out and proud of it. Something that wasn't all that common back then. Many gay men lived in the closet for their own reasons. A lot of the time it was because of family. I found it sad that they couldn't live their lives and truly be themselves. It still happens, but not nearly as much as it did all those many years ago. Me? I had to be me. Period. 

     So did I have a good Thanksgiving? Yes, absolutely. I did things I wanted to do. I ate what I wanted to eat. I spoke to my sister, even though she was busy dealing with her in-laws, bemoaning that they got on her nerves. It seems that family, no matter if you’re gay or straight, can be a royal pain in the ass. 

     What I really want to convey here today is that gay men, and I’m sure lesbians too, are very strong independent people. We have to be. A lot of time we have no choice but to be strong. Often times we are shunned by our own families. I've witnessed those who were denied jobs or fired because they were gay. I've seen and been a victim of hate crimes. I've seen the look on people’s faces that changed to disgust when they have found out that I or others were gay. Or the look of pity, which is by far worse, and even recently ‘I didn't know they got into watching sports’.

     Do NOT feel pity for the gay man, because he has a backbone of steel. Most are independent, strong, well educated, well-adjusted men. Remember the old adage? That which does not kill us makes us stronger? Yep, I’d say that’s just about right. 

     Moving on… stay tuned and come back tomorrow. Yes, I will be doing an additional blog tomorrow. Something important. So stop back by tomorrow. 

     Remember, doing something nice for someone else is truly a gift to yourself. 

     Later y’all, 

      Max ;-)
Because I can!


  1. I love you Max. I want to be like you when I grow up. Except for the man part.

  2. I wish your story was unique- but its not. So many of us, gay or straight, bi- transgender- are rejected by our families. I suppose its the nature of the beast, Max, we simply can't please anyone and we need to me our own best friend. I'm so glad to have connected with you on FB and share in your posts. They mean the world to me. GA

  3. That you Ms. Hauser, that in itself is quite the compliment. I can't even begin to say how much I admire you and what you've accomplished. My hat is off to you, lovely lady. :D

  4. So glad you've risen above Uncle Pete and his ilk, Max. I hope things are getting better, and people like you are leading the way. We need more LGBT heroes in our media, written and visual, people we can love and identify with, no matter our own orientation. The more the merrier.

  5. Thank you so much Elin. I try to lead by example each and every day. :D

  6. What an amazing story . Max i feel so honered to call you my friend you are an amazing person. i am proud to have gotten to know you and to get peeks like this into your life Thank you for sharing your brilliantness ;) <3

  7. I'm sitting here rather at a loss for words. Thank you for the insight. I also have tears in my eyes as I remember my cousin. Mark (whose real name was George, but changed it because it was his father's name, who he hated), grew up in a family with a strange mother (all my mother's siblings - with the exception of my mother - had mental health issues and even my mother had her moments), an abusive father and 2 brothers. I got the feelings that he never got along with any of them. Whenever they would visit, Mark was always kind to me and was my favorite cousin. As soon as he was old enough, Mark went to New York and I never saw him again. About 10 years ago when I was visiting my mother the phone rang and it was Mark. We visited for a long time and I was thrilled to have the chance to tell him that he had always been my favorite, I got the impression he was stunned. I had suspected he was gay, but it just wasn't discussed, I'm sure he had no idea I suspected and I didn't want to make him uncomfortable, not being sure how to bring it up - I have dubious social skills. I am so thankful for that chance to reconnect as I found out after my aunt died that Mark had died not long after our conversation from AIDS. I often think of him and wish I could have somehow communicated that his sexual orientation would not have made any difference to my mother or myself, that we loved him for who he was - a good, kind man.