Cautious Optimism


Guys hanging out together. It’s what young guys do – straight or gay. My somewhat younger son (12), ostracised by the parents of one of his good schoolmates for coming from a ‘queer’ family (gay dad, lesbian mum Clare, doesn’t help when the father is homophobic), may be close to spending more time with their boy outside of school hours, something which has been banned until now.

I wrote in a recent message that I would try and tackle this issue when I got back to the States, and that I was planning to call on them to try and get a resolution. In the end, I slightly chickened out of ‘cold calling’ in person – I phoned the mother instead, when I thought the father would be at work, and invited them to come around for drinks one evening, and ‘why not bring their son along anyway to spend time with Leo?’ I’d previously argued unsuccessfully with the father that Leo is a straight as they make ’em. To my astonishment I had a call back that evening and they accepted.

Last evening was the fateful evening. I arranged for Clare to be here, in what anyway will genuinely be her home when the house deals are completed. I didn’t tell Leo, but I arranged for Dave to be on duty in the training cabin ensuring that anyone who showed up was ‘suitably dressed’, in case the boys ended up in there. Their son – lets call him ‘Ryan’ in case the father’s next idea is to sue me for writing about them! – is fairly sporty but could sure use some training and, I think, would quite like to have the chance. When the doorbell went I sent Leo to open the door.

You could hear his jaw drop from the kitchen! Clare and I tried to appear as welcoming as we could, although perhaps our grins were a little artificial. ‘Why don’t you take “Ryan” down to the basement for a while?’ I suggested to Leo, and the pair scuttled off quickly.

The thaw took a good 20 minutes I reckon, before we were having what I would call a ‘friendly’ conversation. At which point, Leo rather nervously put his head around the door. ‘Dad, is it OK if we…..’ I cut him off very quickly. ‘Yes, Dave’s there, make sure you both do exactly what he tells you to, OK?’ Leo definitely got the message to be on best behaviour.

So they scampered off across the yard up to the cabin, whilst I explained Leo’s passion for fitness and acrobatics. Turns out that “Ryan” had been nagging for ages to be allowed to join in with Leo’s sessions with Chris and Billy and ourselves. I think the father suspected that we just held gay orgies or something, whereas his boy simply wants to be able to do some of Leo’s tricks – things like these…




The father did ask Clare and I about ‘promoting’ homosexuality, and we tried our very best to explain that you either are or you are not – its not a question of ‘promoting’ anything, but rather something you have to live with (and, of course, want to live with). I genuinely think he had not thought of it that way before and, by then, we were mellowed by several glasses of rather good wine.

I assured that man that everyone here would always be as concerned for his son’s wellbeing as we were for that of Leo and Jaymee (he seemed reassured that she would be living here too) and then, impulsively, I asked if he would like to see the training cabin. I bit my tongue as soon as I said it, but I thought he would not be interested. He was. So I crossed my fingers behind my back that Dave had them doing something sensible.

Of course, he did. Both boys shirtless and barefoot, as we do (but shorts on and ‘Ryan’ wearing a borrowed pair of Leo’s), and Dave was working on their splits after they had ‘Ryan’ getting a little sweaty working some modest weights…




…all the obvious stuff. Leo has just made it into the junior ‘collegiate-style’ wrestle team at school, and ‘Ryan’ is shortlisted too, so that was the next thing ‘Ryan’ wanted. Not our ‘house style’, but very popular generally in High Schools here. But it was certainly rather late by then, so we suggested ‘another evening then?’ and the father AGREED.

Game, set, and…match? Hope so. At least, perhaps, we’ve been able to indicate that we don’t set out to ‘convert’ young boys into gays, nor do we eat them for breakfast…

Leo is SO pleased – couldn’t wait to tell his other friends Chris and Billy, so maybe there’ll be a foursome working on their fitness before long.

There is another surprise in store for Leo, but that can wait for the moment.

Gosh. Dave, Clare and I certainly felt like a little ‘gay’ wrestle ourselves, after that! And, as the blog has a follower from South Africa who’s into wrestling skin-on-skin… well, mate, this one’s for you:


Hopefully, the father now no longer has his head buried in the sand to avoid the gay community which, of course, is all around him. Clare, Karen and the kids will, of course, shortly be moving away from his own street to come here – that might help him relax! Although I did rather feel at the start of the evening that it would work out for the worse and it would be me who was buried in the sand…


And the guy is most unlikely to read my works of gay literature, is he! Details at the end!

Let’s enjoy a few more pictures of guys enjoying hanging out together, starting with one for Russian-speaking readers about Street Workouts:


The rest of us can just enjoy some rather better-quality pictures of the same activities:


Five good back planches there! Followed by a somewhat peculiar move:


A great weights gym picture now: some of those bodies need attention, but they’re obviously getting it…


One guy rather stands out as overweight (left end): four ripped guys centre of which the guy fourth from left at the back looks in best shape to us, and the little dude kneeling right has great potential. There is nothing wrong with being small and lean. Often you can get the best ‘ripped’ look with that physique, and have something to be proud of: I’d much rather see that than the other kneeling guy… Anyways, they’re all working out, and that’s the main thing.

So, perhaps our homophobe friend and ourselves are also slowly ‘working out’ a relationship which leaves our sons free to enjoy their friendship and for ‘Ryan’ to join a larger group of fit guys hanging out. Here’s a Brit group of five doing exactly that:


Centre guy needs a little added protein , but he’ll get there. He has the best suntan already. And Mr Showoff on the left has clearly been in his gym a lot. Good for him.

So there we are. A gay blog, a strange gay double-sided family (two lesbians, two gays and their offspring), hopefully straight friendly too and certainly promoting fit, healthy living.

Oh, and promoting books about gay love, acrobatic performance and some scary adventures which crossed our own paths a few years ago. Not to be shown to ‘Ryan’s’ dad!!

Clicking on the ISBNs will take you to publisher’s site for more information.

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

Don’t forget: most pictures enlarge if you click on them.

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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