Bad vibe from the local town today: first time ever here in Wales.
I’ve commented a lot on how friendship between young guys helps them both (or all) to develop their interests, sports and so on – driving each other forward and helping each other to keep it up and improve.
So it is with son Leo, and his friends Chris and Ollie here in Wales (ages 12 or [just] 11) – the first two (USA based) don’t get to meet up with Ollie (from UK) that often but their close friendship and drive continues through Skype as they compare notes on their training. Not so surprising, then, that they have been Skyping to the fourth member of their ‘fitness freaks’ gang, back in Tennessee. He’s the son of the essentially homophobic guy who tried initially to destroy his son’s friendship with my son because of his having a gay dad and lesbian mum. The guy who later warmed sufficiently to our fitness skills to let his son join in with the others, and has visited our home a few times, meeting our gay friends and the two lesbian mums of Leo and Jaymee.
Now this guy has been seeing pictures of the fun the others are having here in UK. I knew the boys had been Skyping to ‘Ryan’ but not that his father had come on screen and been watching the developments. Turns out he’s envious that his son isn’t here with the others. Well, RYan could have been, if the guy had been a bit more trusting and generous with his dollars! Maybe seeing a woman on our end in the background (Ollie’s mum) convinces him that we’re not out to run some sort of gay indoctrination centre and entrap his son!
We may be gay but we’re not into indoctrination – just into fitness. Yes, as gay guys, fit male bodies interest us, but as dads and de facto guardians (of Chris) we’re absolutely not into kids and certainly not into our offspring’s mates.
Hence my cynical ‘quote’ in the title. People need to wake up to the fact that gays (and especially gay parents) are just as loving, responsible and caring of their kids and other kids in their care as any straight people would be. Ryan’s dad has completed about 75% of ‘the course’ now and willingly admits that his son’s physical development and confidence since coming to us for training has been substantial. Score there, then.
Yet our friend Tom, from the nearest little town, heard that comment I’ve put in the title from some woman who obviously knows about us and where we live here when he was in some shop or other. As a gay man himself, he was aghast, but he and his partner Iestyn have had to put up with some unpleasant stuff themselves, especially as Iestyn is a local school teacher.
‘Gay’ does not mean ‘paedophile’, people, despite what you might read in the newspapers.
Please could we have our private lives back for ourselves, not to be discussed willy-nilly down in the town?
Maybe if I had left a few of these lying around in the town, such people could confirm their worst fears! Shock horror: gay love and relationships, occasionally graphic; acrobatics and circus stuff, and some adventure for good measure. Maybe not the stuff of rural Wales, then! On the other hand, if you’re reading this far, maybe click on the covers! e-versions available.
And now, the regular fitness ‘fix’. Enjoy.
As I suggested, groups develop quicker than individuals…
…but just one training partner can work the magic…
(sorry, that one won’t expand)
Such partnerships can develop in various ways…
…or, if those are a bit extreme, just in the gym competing to improve their muscle:
So, we are what we are, and no gossiping women in the local shop can change that. We can admire fit guys, yet still be perfectly responsible in our duties to kids or, indeed, to anyone else. We just need a few more people to recognise that, I guess.
Meanwhile, the boys continue to enjoy themselves in the current amazingly hot weather regardless of our encounters with assorted anti-gay prejudices, under careful supervision which includes Ollie’s parents as well as ourselves. They will return home at the weekend (leaving Ollie here) but will be replaced by my parents, so I’ll be under the watchful gaze as well! It took my parents a long while to accept my gayness (see the books), but we got through that in the end and they adore their grandson and everything he does.
Sporty boys love doing what they do, and long may it continue!