Best Friends

Being cooped up together in our ‘tour’ bus whilst on the road leads to some strange conversations sometimes. In our bus, the seven of us long-term and definitely excellent friends, all Tuan Jie and (as gay lads) able to ‘enjoy’ everything that implies with complete certainty that we are all ‘clean’. Add in a native American boy, also gay and feeling hugely guilty about that, who is slowly ‘opening up’ to us as he gets to feel a little more relaxed. he says he has never had a ‘best friend’ and, anyway, cannot understand how you can have more than one, which is a reasonable question.


My very first ever ‘best friend’, long before Dave came on the scene, was Colin. We met in primary school in Oxford and spent happy summer vacations together exploring on our bikes, swimming in the Cherwell in our favourite semi-private place and, as I have written here long ago, discovering some basic gymnastics by trial and error whilst enjoying that summer sun. He is  married now with kids, and there was never any gay relationship between us, but we remain close friends and indeed the whole family will be staying in our place in Wales with us in a couple of weeks.

It was with Colin that I developed my love of going shirtless – I think he actually suggested riding our bikes that way, a habit we, of course, always have kept up…


– and going barefoot whenever possible – so most boys do their gym training just in shorts, of course…

rings 2

…anyway, one day when pulling off our shorts for a swim I realised that I had forgotten my trunks. Colin simply pulled his off saying ‘well, who needs them anyway’ and dived in naked, so I followed…



After that, we were totally comfortable with each other naked – nothing sexual about it, although Colin always maintains that he figured out I was gay when we were about 12 and he noticed my roving eye in the locker room at secondary school… it took me nearly five more years to realise it myself, but there you go.

Colin’s feet were also the first I ever had in my mouth – ‘dare you’ type stuff – but he doesn’t hold my fetish against me!

So he was a best friend, and I would say, still is. Dave agrees. And I think all of my acrobatic and gay colleagues are best friends too. Dave, of course, is in a different class, but within our larger group we share our love around – and our bodies, and what they can do…


…celebrating each other’s sporting successes…

gym success (2)

or just chilling in the gym between exercises…


Special OfferWell, I’ve written much, much more about all of this (not Colin, but meeting Dave and onwards!) in these three books (and hope you might consider enjoying them). It took me seven years to finish, so there must be something in there!

But, meanwhile, what about our lonely Native American. The philosopher in me (and all my numerous ‘best friends’ say I am one, tells me that we need to try and take care of him until the hurt that his rejection from his reservation as a gay guy discovered in bed with a younger boy has caused can heal a little. Not that having a fifteen-year-old in his bed was right, but the aftermath has meant that he now believes his gayness is a sin, but that he’s cursed with it, and has to struggle to find some lonely path for himself where he can ‘fight his gayness off’ and become ‘normal’. And now he’s cooped up in a small space with seven other gay guys doing their thing and, temporarily, he is one of them and being encouraged to join in. And he does, massively, because that’s what his real self wants. So, emotionally, at the moment, he’s somewhat ‘shredded’. So we do what we can to make him feel he has many ‘best friends’ and that it is right to express his own (real) sexuality…

g07…meanwhile, we stress his brilliance as a contortionist and yoga dude whilst helping him to pack a little bit of muscle on which will help him without inhibiting his range of movement.

So, he’s doing a fair bit of this under our guidance…


…he likes wrestling, too – he may be a ‘guilty gay’ but he sure likes the body contact! Above all, we ensure he has FUN…


We definitely have more work to do: when we’re back in Oak Ridge he’ll be back sharing an apartment with two gay guys who are also working hard to be ‘best friends’ to him in all respects – and that includes in bed. But I do have a sneaky feeling that, one day, he’ll just take off and revert to being a troubled loner again, feeling stranded in a world which doesn’t understnad him and which, perhaps, he doesn’t understand either.

Sorry – its been a rambling post today. Here’s some useful numbers with links to he books which might enable you to explore my once-troubled gay soul…

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

and also, for good measure, a Bonus Boy from the Ukraine (note the colour of his workout bar!)…

Bonus Boy

…now, he’d make a great best friend, wouldn’t you agree?


About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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1 Response to Best Friends

  1. Pingback: Really Special People | Tony Cavanagh

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