Three steps forward, one step back… ‘Ryan’s’ still basically homophobic dad posed a question to me when he dropped Ryan off to train with Leo and Chris. He didn’t mean it in a nasty way – we’re over that. He was just curious.
‘Are you proud to be gay?’
It made me think. No, I’m not ‘proud’ to be gay any more than the majority of guys are ‘proud’ to be straight. We are just either gay or straight, surely… I don’t particularly feel a need to dress in tiny rainbow speedos and parade through the town blowing whistles alongside a load of pansy queen’s in stupid makeup making suggestive gestures and getting people’s backs up, either. So ‘Gay Pride’ is not for us, though we have every sympathy with the emergence of such displays in countries where homosexuality has formerly been suppressed or criminalised, as gays and lesbians can finally “be themselves”…
I am proud to have the enduring love of my Dave, and to share the love and close attentions of eight other gay guys who share our interests of fitness. I am proud of my body, still staying reasonably ripped and flexible as “old age” (ha ha!) creeps up on us, and proud of what I can do with it, keeping up with the acrobatic abilities of the younger guys who follow in our footsteps…
I am proud of the gruelling training regime I need to follow to keep my body the way I want it, sharing the pain (and gain) with my mates:
…and I’m proud that I can still demonstrate with reasonable precision the skills of artistic gymnastics, which I teach as my most ‘gainful’ employment!
(That’s the ‘sole circle’ or ‘Stadler’, by the way…)
Most of all, I’m proud to be a gay dad and to have a lad who exceeds my wildest dreams in terms of his addiction to the same fitness ideals. For a 12yo, his acrobatic skills and achievements are amazing and he plays a full role in the ‘family fakir’ shows along with his “sister” Jaymee (Dave’s girl) who, of course, shares no common gene with him: however they think of each other as brother and sister and have grown up together, playing naked in the sun as two-three-year olds and enjoying the freedoms of attitude that such an upbringing entails.
Leo’s desire to shuck his shirt and shoes at any opportunity, including school break times, has caused him some issues with his classmates, and he does have a tendency to show off what he can do and has suffered some minor bullying in consequence. But he has a close circle of friends who rally around and I think it will be OK. With his closest friends Chris and now Ryan, in our private training cabin and secluded outdoor area attached to it, they’ll train naked because they can, because it feels good, and NO, THEY ARE NOT GAY! Quite the opposite: the talk is of girls, and Leo has a loose ‘girlfriend’ relationship at school with a sweet young lady whom he constantly succeeds in impressing.
So, am I “proud to be gay?” No, that’s nonsense, but I am immensely proud of the life that I have built with my partner, our friends, with the lesbian girls who so desired to be parents, and with the fantastic ‘family’ which has resulted. And, Mr homophobic “Ryan’s dad”, your son is totally safe in our hands, even when he flings he clothes off and gets sweaty with the other boys…
One more ‘gay pride’ thing. I’m proud to have “come out” in public through a series of three books I have written, on the themes explained in this post and also some of our touring adventures and (more specifically) misadventures – some dark times which make a good tale. The book cover (left) is a link to more information about the paper versions (there are e-books too), and the follow-up volumes are ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Against All Odds’…
…I am (extremely slowly) working on a fourth book which is the entirely fictional tale of a gay Native American boy cast out of his own community after a carnal act… very loosely based on an interesting guy who crossed our path about a year ago. One day, it might be finished, and I’ll probably be proud of that too.
I am proud to be what I am: and so should you be. Let’s hold our heads up against anyone who thinks otherwise (just what I tell Leo!) and, if you are gay like me, then you’ll probably appreciate the remaining pictures I’m posting today!
1. Proudly showing off a great chest and enjoying the open air:
2. Enjoying the sun in the public park environment:
3. “Am I ripped enough?”
4. A great place to catch some rays… ‘Wanna join me?’
5. Sand dunes are great places to chill with a buddy too, and that water looks inviting:
6. Making good use of the kids’ play equipment…
7. Did I say that training naked was a great feeling?
8. …and just mucking around is fun, too… you need to chill after any training session! Enjoy…
Be proud of what you and what you stand for. And love your partner.