“Strength through Brotherhood” is approximately what this means. We apply it to our acrobatic work of course, and to our personal lives as well. In fact, it is absolutely central to our story.
Zach, who hails from Southern California and whom we met in Oak Ridge TN, had it tattooed on his lower back. A bit of a wild card in his past, bumming around the beaches of SoCal, doing acrobatics, yes, but enjoying the gay lifestyle too, even making some porn films – and, in the process, losing friends to AIDS-related illnesses.
Dave and I both proudly bear this mark now, as does Zach’s partner Gary. Sharing our love of acrobatics (and, in Gary’s case, martial arts too), and determined that never again would he see gay friends succomb to the ‘plague’, Zach, who we met through the training group in Oak Ridge where he had moved to work as a masseur, invited us to make an unbreakable bond that we would only ‘play’ sexually within the Tuan Jie brotherhood, and his care and concern (and not least his experience) has served us well. Since then, Tuan Jie has expanded to nine of us, and I’ll introduce the others later.
Basically, it is all about caring for each other, both in our lifestyles, as I have indicated, and in our sport which is also now our profession. This determination to ‘share’ and to support one another, whether it be in training or through emotional troubles (and there’ve been plenty of those along the way) has been a cornerstone of our development as performers and, most importantly, as lifelong friends and partners. Each of us would trust any of the others with our lives and, in fact… no, I’ll save that one for later, if you’ll be patient!
Heavy stuff here, people – sorry about that – but sometimes the love and care I receive from my friends makes me very emotional, and I realise just how important really true friends are, especially when they make such a binding commitment.
Enough of this for now: a couple of pix of some boys enjoying themselves, just to lighten up!