chaos

permanent ink

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I do, it is true, believe that almost all of you are probably homophobes. But I’m a homophobe. It would be incredible if we weren’t. To grow up in a society that is overwhelmingly homophobic and to escape unscathed would be miraculous. So I don’t hate you because you are homophobic. I actually admire you. I admire you because most of you are only a bit homophobic. Which all things considered is pretty good going.... panti bliss
I do, it is true, believe that almost all of you are probably homophobes. But I’m a homophobe. It would be incredible if we weren’t. To grow up in a society that is overwhelmingly homophobic and to escape unscathed would be miraculous. So I don’t hate you because you are homophobic. I actually admire you. I admire you because most of you are only a bit homophobic. Which all things considered is pretty good going…. panti bliss

there has been much deserved press for a speech by irish drag persona panti bliss. i must say i have listened to it about 10 times or so and i find it to be plugged into the very soul of the conversation about lgbt rights in the 2nd decade of the 21st century of our human culture.

there is very little blame or projection about the responsibility of the oppression still felt among a good portion of our community. for me it really touches upon some basic construct of the modern gay male psyche at least those over 40. it seems a cycle we grow up feeling shame about who we are or how we are we are, then we are grown and we often go crazy and taunt each other and watch each other trying to shake that very shame. and that feels oppressive.

i have blogged often about shame and shame-based trauma. this is the cornerstone of many men’s foundation. as is lovingly laid out in alan downs’  short book “the velvet rage”. the ongoing process of being different, loved ones realizing we are different and slightly turning away we, in turn, feeling that turning away and internalizing it, knowing that our loved ones are treating us differently, which causes some of us to feel unlove-able which we also turn inwards to hide, and then spend a good deal of the rest of our lives playing out in a myriad of phases and dramas trying to erase that unlove-able, working through the anger of distancing, and coming to terms with being different and letting go of feeling unlove-able.

the advent of gay marriage is perhaps the next biggest gain for the lgbtq community. no we shouldn’t create an ideal to model heterosexual relationships and that is not the only aspect of marriage equality. what matters is that we are love-able, and that the world at large accepts and insists that we are love-able even if we are different. and then perhaps this ongoing dance of being different and slightly being rejected by our family and friends can come to an end. we can be accepted as we are and fight different internal battles just like our non-gay contemporaries.

i absolutely love the chutzpah that panti lassoes in her talk in the theater. i have gratitude and respect for a truth coming so quietly and so candidly.

And for the last three weeks I have been lectured by heterosexual people about what homophobia is and who should be allowed identify it. Straight people – ministers, senators, lawyers, journalists – have lined up to tell me what homophobia is and what I am allowed to feel oppressed by. People who have never experienced homophobia in their lives, people who have never checked themselves at a pedestrian crossing, have told me that unless I am being thrown in prison or herded onto a cattle train, then it is not homophobia. And that feels oppressive..... panti bliss
And for the last three weeks I have been lectured by heterosexual people about what homophobia is and who should be allowed identify it. Straight people – ministers, senators, lawyers, journalists – have lined up to tell me what homophobia is and what I am allowed to feel oppressed by. People who have never experienced homophobia in their lives, people who have never checked themselves at a pedestrian crossing, have told me that unless I am being thrown in prison or herded onto a cattle train, then it is not homophobia.
And that feels oppressive….. panti bliss

here is  panti bliss’ speech that has been set to a rhythm track a la the pet shop boys. i adore this just as much.

don’t jump over yourself

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Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.
Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.


what a hella week for me. how about you? we were on lock down cuz some ex devotee called in a bomb scare. we had swat teams on several corners with machine guns in tow. add to this the fact that we interface work with many people who have schizophrenia and are paranoid and restless without the presence of ammo. false alarm and no one hurt, however. 
i have been struggling with an acquaintance who probably has dementia and lives on their own. i believe it’s dementia which is caused by their advancing liver disease. i am at once trying to get them to see a doctor or cease their drug use. neither plan is actualizing very easily. and they have now presented with an infection on their leg which encompasses the complete surface from ankle to knee and resembles the  terrain of a red clay volcano with a concave center revealing some bone. 

earlier this week, i helped someone who was struggling with walking, moving hunched over almost in half. they went to their doctor and then referred to another. the term “life-threatening” was strewn about. a coupla days later, they appeared in a too small wheelchair because they were still unable to walk. i gave them the name of an organization that provides free temporary wheelchairs- hoping a better fit could be had. i received a call yesterday from the hospital they had been admitted into. and today i received another more whimpering call today in fear of impending surgery.

a peer to peer recovery group we started last year had it’s 1 year anniversary this week. there was a celebratory pot luck and over 35 persons participated. the participants shared about their success. the core participants in our effort have tripled or more within this year. and the discussion of problems is gently folding into a much more audible conversation about change and possibility. 

there is a sweeping wind of change that is moving through my daily life. it is bending me into an emotional posture resembling munsch’s “screamer” with the skill of rodin. i am playing a part. a part in a much larger story. i don’t know my exact role now, but these dry runs are exhausting. exhausting and exhilarating. there is a deeper dream that is being tapped in me. i am able to discuss some of this with my supervisor with candor. 

i really love this interview with patti smith… give it a listen

Patti Smith: Advice to the young from Louisiana Channel on Vimeo.

chaos

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image credit… HIV+ Babylon Chaos

Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.

sometimes it just all seems to go to shit. all the planning, all the meditation, all the affirmations, all the steps i take to stay grounded just fade instantly into black. i am left with darkness, unknowing, and chaos. it doesn’t last long, but it is certainly a black hole. today was a feast of this chaos for me. it was huge, without flavor, yet hard to forget.

insanity and sanity may just be the same feeling- one perhaps being the negative of the other. or maybe a 2 sided kandinsky is what this resembles. or maybe i have seen a replication of the big bang theory. how did i live before faith?


Our universe began with a hot big bang 13.7 billion years ago and has expanded and cooled ever since. It has evolved from a formless soup of elementary particles into the richly structured cosmos of today.
The first microsecond was the formative period when matter came to dominate over 
antimatter, the seeds for galaxies and other structures were planted, and dark matter (the unidentified material that holds those structures together) was created.
The future of the universe lies in the hands of dark energy, an unknown form of energy that caused cosmic expansion to begin accelerating a few billion years ago….reprinted from scientific american