Sunday, August 31, 2014

Richard sent this good article. . . Your choice: "Politically correct" or LOVE. . .

It didn’t matter if it didn’t fit my identity. It didn’t matter if it didn’t fit my sexuality. It just mattered if it brought me love.

I’ve always prided myself on being open. I’ll try any new therapy or modality or New Age idea—and, believe me, I’ve tried them all. I’ve done the self-work. I’ve “found myself.” I’ve even practiced my affirmations. I knew who I was, without a doubt.

That’s why I found myself in unfamiliar territory when I—the open guy, the “figured out” guy, the unquestionably straight guy—realized that I was in love with my best friend, a man. A man I had known for seven years. A man I had never before even thought of in a romantic way. But, there I was, in love.

Only it didn’t start out as love. See, two summers ago, I came down with a mysterious illness. Not the common cold kind. Not even the achy back kind. This was the kind where you vomit massive amounts of blood throughout the day. The kind where doctors pass you from specialist to specialist. The kind where you’re bent over in pain with tears in your eyes.

And my roommate, Garrett, one of my best friends at the time, took pity on me. He took care of me. He picked up my prescriptions from the pharmacy. He cooked me dinner. He stayed in on Friday nights to watch movies. He’d even rub my back when I was in pain.

Each day, I waited anxiously until he came home from work. My face lit up when he surprised me with my favorite dinner. I replayed conversations we had when I was alone.

I missed him when he was gone. Two months into this routine, I had a thought—a tiny, little thought—that I loved him. It seemed preposterous. It seemed laughable. I shooed it away immediately. But that thought started creeping into my mind whenever he was away. That thought sneaked in whenever he did something nice or made me laugh.

And it all came down to this moment—one moment when he was cooking me dinner, and he looked over and smiled at me. I knew this was it. This was the moment where I had to decide if I could allow myself to love a man against everything I had previously known about myself. This was the moment when I had to decide if I was going to take a step forward into this crazy idea of telling my best friend that I loved him.

There’s a certain freedom in a life-threatening sickness. There’s a certain liberation in staring down death in the face. It makes you do crazy things. It makes you unafraid to tear down the only identity you’ve ever known for a gamble. It makes you walk right up to your best friend and tell him that you love him.

So I approached him cautiously. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I opened my mouth and no words came out. Again, I tried, and all I could say was, “Garrett, I have something to tell you.”

He looked at me earnestly. “Garrett, I think I’m in love with you.”

His expression changed to that of confusion.

“Well, you’ve been so great and taken care of me, and I know it doesn’t make much sense. But, if I’ve ever felt love, this is it. And, well—I think I’m in love with you.”

He stopped and thought for a moment. It was a long moment. Then he opened his mouth again and asked, “Do you miss me when I’m away?”

I nodded my head slowly—uneasily.

“Do you get excited to see me?” I nodded again, this time with a hint of uncertainty.

He looked back timidly. “Well, then I think I might love you too.” We had no idea how to make this work. We had no idea if this even could work. Sometimes we still don’t. It took time—years even—to figure it out. But it’s a relationship. None of us know what we’re doing. We just try and negotiate and compromise. And, little by little, you become just another boring couple.

So, yes, I’m an otherwise straight man in love with a man. But I would never reduce Garrett down to just being a man. Because he’s more than that. He’s a pharmacist and a good cook and a great cards player. And I love him for all of those reasons and so many more. I love him for who he is, not what he is. We’re more than our gender. We’re more than one attribute. And sometimes we need to remember that.

We have this myth of identity—that who we are is the summation of a lot of choices we made in the past. That we’ve got a map for the life we’re supposed to lead, and we’ve got to stick to it. But that’s assuming that we’re all static beings, and that’s not how people work at all.

In every moment, we’re changing and evolving and growing. In every moment, we’re reconstructing our identity. We’re not defined by our decisions from two years ago. We’re not even defined by our decisions from two minutes ago. We’re defined by who we choose to be in this very moment.

We’ll never be “figured out.” Over the course of our lives, we’ll constantly be transforming into a more and more authentic version of ourselves. Our preferences will change. Our passions will change. And we have to be brave enough to choose the thing that makes up happiest in each individual moment.

When I chose to tell Garrett that I loved him, it didn’t matter if it didn’t fit my identity. It didn’t matter if it didn’t fit my sexuality. It just mattered if it brought me love. In truth, that’s all that ever really matters.

We’re only here for a very short time. In every moment, we only have one real choice: Will it bring me closer to or further away from love?

So, tell me—will you choose love?

Monday, August 18, 2014


The Boy of Summer

I was 13 when a new friend joined me in the cornfield and in my home — and opened a door I hadn’t known was closed.

the new york times

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Jesuit Fr James Martin says those who COMEOUT deserve Catholic Support

A couple articles on the matter. . . .

= = = = = = = = =

Article re Nazi- martyred Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Fr Martin is becoming increasingly outspoken on GLBTetc issues. . . so far no "official clap-trap" . 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dear Friends and Neighbors - Fellow Dunesters, Wandering Wondering Minstrels and Assorted Street Persons - to All the Wonder-filled People I have met here on The Dunes, in your public and private posts and communiques. . . . HELLO.!
Peace and All Good Things.   ;-)  [Sorta sounds like that Fellow in Rome. . .well, just a little bit, in my imagination, and so forth. . .that Gentle Man whom I admire so much, and love the more I read him and observe his actions. . . .]

Let me try to explain my absence. . . a least a little bit. . .anyway. . .I reached a point at the end of the scholastic year at University where I felt like I "had had it Up The Whazooooo" and needed to back away  from a lot of extraneous activities
so I could be able to sanely complete the year, get all the paper-work and forms filled out, etc, so that I would be able to say to myself "There. . .I've done my work, I've served my commitments as best I can now. . . Now I need to take some real quality time for me. . . I need to get back 'on track' with real time to "think my own thoughts and feel my own feelings".

I remember a Latin teacher in high school who'd drop little sayings, odds and ends. . . One of them was : No one gives what he does not have. . . Nemo dat quod non habet. .   That is how I was beginning to feel. . . .so state it simply.  I needed to "get away" and so I did.  I decided to get away from the classrooms and lecture halls, the private counselling office.  Before my work at University was done I had nailed down a job for the summer:  I went back to construction work. . .one of my early loves. . . .particularly in the area of hanging dry-wall. . . taping and finishing corners. . . clean open places where I could not "hide".  In my earlier years I had become rather good at it and, better still, I liked what I was doing. . . I could get absorbed in my work and just let go of so many other things from my every-day life which had become so consumming.  So, every morning early I went "out to play". . . .and got paid for it.  I was on "summer break" and found myself loving this more and more each day. . . .and how shall I say this?. . . .I found myself "getting cleaner and cleaner" each day. . .more in touch with "the real". . . my real.

I didn't become a hermit or retreat into "the anti-social". . contraire. . . the more I came into touch with me. . . .with Justin as he is and wants and hopes to be. . . .the more I was in contact on a deep-down gutsy level with the people with whom I lived and worked and played. . . the important people in my life and those new people becoming more important in my life.

In a lot of ways I am surprised how quickly the summer has gone by. . . .sorta like the White Sharks. . .they moved in, attracted, entertained, frightened, confronted. . . . .and moved on. . . .that's kinda how my summer has been.  It won't be long before I shall be heading back to campus. . .beginning "a new year" and a new phase of life and love. . . .more and more open to the awesome adventure life is. has been and will continue to be. . . .always trying to touch it and let life touch me, as "IT" unfolds. . . .

With this brief attempt at sharing  Justin Dunes will be up and running and open for business and busyness with and for whomever wants to drop by and say HI. . and "here's what's up and running. . ."   and see what it takes us.

Thanks for the many ways in which and how and that you care. . . .this is a precious special part of my life. . .our life. . .and I am grateful.
. . . . .with much love and sincere affection. . . .yepper. . . .;-)). . JUSTIN

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Posted: 08 Jul 2014 05:25 AM PDT
Gay Relationships: 8 Success Tips For CouplesAs gay men, you've struggled through and endured all the challenges inherent in finding true love with another man in this homophobic society, but you did it! You found your Mr. Right! So now what?!
Not only did we as gay men not receive any education or guidance in how to date another man,but we certainly didn't get the training manual on how to sustain a healthy, intimate partnership with him once we found our ideal guy and decided to form a commitment with him.
Gay partnerships can be very rewarding and fulfilling, but they require conscious effort and attentiveness to foster their successful growth and intimacy. What follows is a short tips list that gay couples can use as a quick-reference guide for keeping their relationships on track. Keep these bullet points in mind and you'll have a solid foundation in place to make your relationship solid gold!
Relationship Success Tips
1. Avoid placing all your emotional needs on your partner. Develop your own individual identity and through those experiences, your relationship will be enriched as you keep breathing new life into it.
2. Even if you’ve been together a long time, never expect your partner to know what your needs are. Mind-reading and making assumptions only leads to misunderstandings and potential conflicts. Learn to be assertive and ask directly for what you want.
3. Periodically have a “check-in” with your partner to reexamine how the relationship is going and how satisfied you and your partner are. This keeps the channels of communication open and can help renew the relationship, reinforcing the positives and uncovering areas in need of attention before things get too misguided.
4. Characteristic of relationship development, most couples have a diminishment of that honeymoon phase “high” that’s experienced in the beginning of a relationship when they first started dating. This is normal and not a reason to be concerned that there is something necessarily wrong. When this occurs, strive to bring more creativity and vitality into your relationship and sex life to spice things up. Surprise your partner. Be spontaneous and playful. Make him see how special and important he is to you.
5. Examine your satisfaction with the roles you play in your relationship. A real advantage of gay relationships is the ability to be flexible with life roles and not to have to ascribe to traditional sex role stereotypes commonly held in heterosexual relationships. Negotiate such roles and tasks openly and freely with your partner, acknowledging areas of strength and talent in this decision-making.
6. Avoid letting disagreements turn into ugly verbal battles where things could be said that are later regretted. Learn basic anger management principles and know when to call a “Time-Out” to defuse unproductive anger. Also learn how to re-engage following the cool-down period so issues can be resolved peacefully.
7. Protect your relationship legally by seeking assistance from an attorney to obtain the necessary legal documents befitting your particular relationship situation, including such things as power of attorney, wills, beneficiary designations, etc. Planning ahead with such things can insure that you’re each taken care of in the event that something was to jeopardize your union.
8. Don't let the busyness of life take away from your relationship. Find a balance between work, alone time, friends, family, and time spent as a couple. Make “Date Night” a regular part of your lifestyle where you avoid discussing your problems or issues and just enjoy spending that quality time together. Never take each other for granted and remember that you’re a team.
Love and pride Fashion
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc.