Free Range Boys

It’s great to see four young boys (yes, ‘Ryan’, son of homophobe dad has joined the other three) spending entire days involved in sport and training because they want to. It is competitive, yes, but each boy wants all the others to succeed and, for us, observing this, we can all (dads and mums) be very proud of them. One UK boy and one half UK/USA plus two USA boys, and a similarly complex mixture of parents involving gays and straights of both sexes… what a muddle! And all in harmony, even homophobe dad (amazed grin!).

Meanwhile, news reached us today that a gym coach we know in Europe has just been misguidedly accused (and exonerated in a very brief police enquiry) of child pornography because of pictures he took of gymnasts showing off their skills and their physiques, both in competitions and often, at the behest of their parents, in his studio. And yes, he is a professional photographer. And, no, nothing remotely sexual ever appeared, or was ever even considered.

Sports coaches have to be squeaky-clean these days. All of us involved in teaching gymnastics here in US have to pass stringent checks, and in the UK they are even tougher. We abide strictly to the code. And, gay dads though we may be, we never EVER allow that to influence our relationships with our seriously straight kids, or those who attend the gym we work in. And that goes for girls too – Dave being the proud father of Jaymee. But you knew that, if you come here often…

Sorry – just wanted to get that off my chest, having heard the news from Europe today. A brilliant coach of the gymnastic sports we love whose contribution is now lost, his relationship with his local federation in ruins despite his swift acquittal from all the allegations. Who’s next?

Meanwhile, my great mate Colin and his family are enjoying day 3 of their stay in sunny(ish) Oak Ridge (apart from the rain showers!). He wrestled his son away from mine for long enough to visit the museum of science and energy, which celebrates (?) the role of what is now the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the second world war bomb development when the inhabitants of the original settlement here were ousted – actually the museum is rather good – and to take in some local scenery, which is essentially wooded ridges and the river:


That’s the Clinch River, in which we enjoy skinny dipping in a secluded place! Another shot (not giving away our secluded place – Cody would never forgive us…):

clinch river

I guess we are all (both generations) ‘free range boys’. Shirtless whenever we can, barefoot too, enjoying each other’s company big time:


Some of the rest of the ‘gay’ stuff (which we keep separate from the younger generation) can be found here:

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

It may entertain you if you are of the gay (or acrobatic) disposition, and maybe even if you are not! E-books are available also.

Which said, and with our visitors from UK entertaining themselves elsewhere in the locality (and in my car – fingers crossed Colin remembers which side of the road to drive on), let me entertain our usual clientele with a selection of great young male physiques doing what we all love to do:



You can even look brilliant doing your domestics shirtless (as we often do – shirtless, that is, not brilliant…):

domestic dude

Back in the weight room:

gym blue shorts

Let’s make a point here…

making the point

Working out together brings greater rewards…

sweating together


A really weird example of ‘free-range boys’ here – an art class in which at least four are identically (un)dressed in white shorts and trainers: are they painting each other, or what?


(We really do want comments about that picture… it’s fascinating… what are we missing out on?)

A vintage example of free-range boys now – swimming lessons as they used to be…


Would anyone contemplate naked swimming lessons these days… and with so many onlookers… what were they thinking…

OK, we train and swim naked, because we can, because we can do it in our private facilities, and because we like the sensation of our bodies against the apparatus, or each other (if wrestling)… testing muscle against muscle… but in these paranoid days of accusations against coaches, and the rest…, we keep our own personal relationships private, just for us…



Our thoughts are with our European friend today. He’s been enmeshed in his problem for many weeks and we only found out now. As we enjoy each other (gay dads and our friends) and our kids, pushing themselves onwards to be ‘the greatest’, to impress us and each other, we watch (and feel) the overwhelming sense of friendship, brotherhood and understanding in both generations. Our coaching friend in Eastern Europe is suddenly ‘out in the cold’ for absolutely no logical reason. A whole host of kids and young men owe him a huge debt for the skills he has taught them. Happily, I hear, a lot of them have stood by him.

Life can be a real f***er sometimes.











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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3 Responses to Free Range Boys

  1. Nidia says:

    from what movie is this last picture?

    • tonycavanagh says:

      Actually, it didn’t occur to me that it was from a movie anyway. Now I look at it again, perhaps you’re right. I’m afraid that I don’t have a clue about what movie it could be. Sorry!

  2. Pingback: Christmas Eve Reflections on 2014 | Tony Cavanagh

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