Drumming Up Courage


A ‘coming out’ tale today. When you are gay, you do tend to look at other guys a bit more than your average ‘straight’ guy. Obviously. And, indeed, you notice (and appreciate!) other guys giving you ‘the look over’ as well.

When we do shows on our own, our roadie/driver Chet deals with the music. Here on tour, the circus has its own band, which is quite good (once they’ve learned your routines) because, if there is any slip or delay, they can keep time with you. And they use the drummer for dramatic effect: a roll on the drums as you prepare for some feat which looks difficult or dangerous, and a symbol crash to mark the success (hopefully!). Examples are Ethan hanging from his heels from the trapeze, followed by his twenty-foot dive to be caught by the rest of us, or me on the nails with a concrete block on my stomach as Zach reaches for the sledgehammer. Or a pitch of Jack up in the air to land in a handstand catch… you get the idea.

Most of the band are about 60yo, but a new drummer joined just after we arrived back here. He’s a young Latino guy (about 22 I think) called Rodrigo. And he’s been giving us that look ever since…


…watching, but trying not to be obvious! But obviously enjoying watching our bodies at work…

We have made no secret of the fact that our particular acrobatic/endurance group is wholly gay guys. After last night’s show, Rodrigo approached Ethan, the last to leave the back of the big tent to go for a shower. ‘I think I’m gay too: what should I do?’

The obvious answer to that, I suppose, is ‘Be honest with yourself (and others) and enjoy it!’

Ethan sensed that Rodrigo wanted to talk, so suggested that he joined him in the shower (yes!!) and then came over to our camping bus to talk. He eagerly accepted. ‘By the way, its no shoes and no shirts in our bus, and probably some of the guys won’t be wearing anything this time of night.’ Too right. Crashed out on their bunks after two shows…

good morning

Rodrigo’s arrival, wrapped only in a towel and carrying his clothes, did rather liven things up a bit. Getting him to relax was not easy, and Zach said ‘You gotta relax when you’re with other guys, mate’ and suggested a quick wrestle on the floor. Well, he did relax, pretty quickly. And, in the presence of five other guys with bodies to be ogled and touched, his manhood quickly responded and erupted…

Of course, we couldn’t go ‘further’ with him because of our sworn status to keep ourselves sexually exclusive. But he did get a ‘demo’ from Ethan and Jack… and, after, we did everything we could to make him relax and accept his situation:


Rodrigo became bold enough, and relaxed enough, to ask the ‘Is this normal, then?’ question. Maybe I should give him some books to read, which describe how Dave and I got together and worked it all out along with help and love from the wider group…

Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbCover 3 Thumb…these first two pretty much would cover everything he needs to know (and a lot more besides!) and the third one completes the epic and deals with all the loose ends making (I hope) a good read for any gay-friendly sporty type… (you too, maybe; click on covers and check out Amazon/Kindle).

He’s finally gone back to his own van – around 2am! In the morning, he’ll no doubt be looking at us in a different light as we train and, I hope, feeling better about himself. We’ve promised him an oil-wrestling session and, if that doesn’t convince him that being gay alongside other guys is OK, perhaps nothing will!


I’ll let you know how he gets on!

Some more pix for you now before I turn in (in the middle of the night now!): usual themes…



Some neat ab-crunch work:


Ready for anything…


…yes, that too…


Then off to the gym: strand work for the hamstrings first…


Then some piked pull-ups:


Bicep curls:


Shoulder work (lateral dumbbell raises for the medial deltoids)…


Enjoy keeping track of your progress: in the mirror or wherever…

bathroom stretch

Find time to relax with your weights mate…


…and, if you are a gay couple, there are other ways to do that!


I’m gonna have to stop for now – falling asleep – still got to nip across to the hotel to send this… and this could be me in the morning…


…at least no shows tomorrow. Moving on. Bye!


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 Drumming Up Courage

  1. Pingback: Rodrigo’s Choice! | Tony Cavanagh

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