A New ‘Age of Enlightenment’?


I wrote the other day about newly-arrived Jude from Canada, new fitness friend of our kids, nonchalantly mentioning to them that he was gay with a couple of days of arriving in their school. What a difference from our experience all those years ago…


While we live in an area where, to the average Joe Public, gay is still ‘bad’, the school proudly supports a LGBT society for its pupils which also strongly encourages straight kids to join. To us, the previous generation, this seems quite amazing. Dave and I hid our love away in any public situation while mixing predominantly with other gay guys in our favoured activities – gym and acrobatics – and were fortunate to be accepted into a private gay-friendly gym which also hid itself away in a non-descript industrial unit not so far from what was once a very closed-minded Baptist Church. A number of events – 9/11 was one – led indirectly to a softening of those relations and to the gym at least getting a nameplate on the door, although it is still ‘invitation only’ and you need a personal card to get through that door. This allows its members to enjoy watching each other’s bodies at work and, in late-night private times, to indulge in other gay-oriented things.


Of course, the kids know about it, and they can get in at other times, nominally supervised by an adult, but they need to be trusted by the gym’s owner first to be discreet (and not to do stupid things leading to injury as well, of course). I have no doubt that when Chad the owner has checked Jude out, he’ll get an invitation too.

chest thrust

As usual, I’ve wandered slightly off my intended topic – increasing acceptance of gayness amongst the new generation which in general drinks less, smokes a lot less, worries about drink driving more and eats healthier food than kids did say ten years ago. So we do applaud our local school – and any other – which permits (and indeed encourages) LGTB tolerance on its premises.


Our more difficult coming out and everything that went with it can be found here:

The first part...The second part...Cover 3 ThumbI always hate to admit it, but my oldest friend Colin cottoned on to my own gayness when I was about nine years old – years before I did – and (bless him) kept it to himself rather than use the information in the school locker room… and that is one of the reasons why he is still my friend and why my kid and his are able to be such good ‘fitness’freak’ friends too.

OK, enough philosophy. Fun time: let’s put those muscles to good use…

cable pulls



max whitlock


spread 2




Don’t mind rusty weights? OK then, use a pair of old railway wagon wheels!

railway weights!

There’s a very powerfully-built boy under that shirt – he needs to get it off…

…no such inhibitions here…


Fundamentally, gay or straight, let’s enjoy working out…

working together

… looking good, catching some rays with friends…


…making it FUN!



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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