Friday, May 28, 2010

DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL . . . . .


House Votes to Permit Repeal of Ban on Gays in Military

The House voted to let the Defense Department repeal the ban
on gay and bisexual people from serving openly in the
military, a major step toward dismantling the 1993 law widely
known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Separately, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted earlier
on Thursday to repeal the ban.

Read More:



I shall be very interested to read your comments on this topic. I have lots of ideas rolling around my brain this morning. . . .roflmsao. Will you please share yours. I will 'let loose' later. . . .hehe. . . justin

Gay Relationships: Gay Men And Masculinity

Posted: 27 May 2010 04:08 AM PDT

4896804f8d731s Gay men have an ambivalent attitude towards masculinity. The word comes up all the time in personal ads – you know, “masculine guy seeks same.” We often equate masculine with sexy. At the same time, many gay men privately worry they are somehow deficient in the manliness department, no matter how much time they spend at the gym.

So what is masculinity, anyway – a hairy chest and the ability to change the oil in your car yourself? Being congenitally unable to ask for directions when lost? Can you be “too masculine?” Is being a top somehow more masculine than being a bottom?

One of the ways homophobes misunderstand gay men is in assuming we secretly want to be women. Gay men sometimes respond with camp humor, calling one another “girl” or “she.” This is a funny way of defusing hate directed toward us, but it can cause us to become confused in relation to how we feel about being men.

Growing up, gay boys are sometimes taunted with words like “sissy,” that imply they are deficient in the masculinity department. Many of the images of gay men in the media are unmanly in way that’s supposed to be funny – La Cage aux Folles, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Small wonder that one of the things that so upset the ‘phobes about Brokeback Mountain was the image of two virile men with their lips locked on one another. More than one right wing critic has speculated that John Wayne must have been spinning in his grave.

What characteristics do you associate with the word masculine? It’s easy to over-generalize about gender roles, but it’s clear that some qualities are positive and some are negative. On the plus side, being masculine is often associated with strength and competence, as well as secondary sexual characteristics like big muscles and lots of body hair. On the negative side, manly men often seem over-aggressive, stubborn, close-minded…perhaps not too bright.

Since gay men are attracted to other men – duh – a certain amount of testosterone is inherently attractive to gay guys. A gay man is a man’s man! Not a problem unless we fetishize hyper-masculinity. Many of the qualities that lead us to see a man as manly may make him a great sexual fantasy, but a questionable candidate for a flesh-and-blood relationship.

Successful relationships typically require an ability to empathize or support your partner when he needs it – qualities that are more often associated with women than lumberjacks or fighter pilots. Sometimes our first choice for a sweaty fantasy isn’t our best choice for a partner.

We gay men wound ourselves when we learn to think of masculinity as something that resides outside of our own selves when we see other men as masculine, but not our selves. This is more likely to happen when our view of masculinity has become too narrow and too focused on physical parts (the size of this or the amount of that).

A broader sense of what it means to be a man can allow us to cultivate other masculine qualities in ourselves: the ability to take action, for instance, to master tasks that are important to us (regardless of whether that task is changing a tire or cooking a fabulous coq au vin), to pay at least as much attention to developing our inner strength as to inflating our pecs.

Men are sometimes advised to get in touch with their “inner feminine.” Maybe gay men need to get in touch with their “inner masculine” instead. Identifying those aspects of being a man we most value and then cultivate those parts of our selves can lead to a healthier and less distorted sense of our own masculinity.

John R. Ballew, author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHERor John R. Ballew, M.S. -


pretty? is he masculine? need to see him in action. . . . .
Say! are ear rings coming back into 'trendy'? ;-)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Brilliant sun and much cooler temps today. . . when the storm came through last evening, with gorgeous thunder and lightning, temps dropped 20 degrees here on the Outer Cape. . . I wanted to run out in the rain, like I used to do when I was a kid, stark naked, lit by the flashes. . . Oh Oh. . ..but I learned that wasn't smart and that was why my parents always made me come in as soon as they caught me. . . .and it wasn't because I was in my birthday suit. . . .LOL

So work today was not as draggy as yesterday, tho' I did get a lot done. With help today here is the finished product, and one coat of color. . . the painters will finish it off in no time tomorrow.

Not sure I am thrilled with the color chosen: it needs some LIFE !
Well I do not have to live in it. ;-)

Thanks for all your comments and observations. I look forward to seeing who posts and what you have to say. I am always open to reading your suggestions to improve the blog. Please feel free to post them en blog or email them to me privately.

SUPPER-time. . . .I am starved. . . . more later. . .that is a threat! ;)

ciao, ciao



Stop, Look, & Listen: The 3-Step Approach to Understanding Your Partner

Posted: 26 May 2010 04:07 AM PDT

Stop, Look, &  Listen: The 3-Step Approach to Understanding Your Partner -  GAYTWOGETHER.COM Do you feel misunderstood by your partner? Seem to keep getting into repetitive arguments over the same things? Have hidden resentments toward him and a mountain of unmet needs? If you’re like a lot of other gay couples, chances are your listening skills might need a jump-start; and if it’s not that, then fine-tuning your ability to listen can go a long way toward bridging the gap between you and your lover and bringing about more clarity and connection in your relationship.

Conflict is inevitable when you’re a couple, but how you go about negotiating it can mean the difference between cuddling on the couch together or sleeping on opposite sides of the bed when you retire for the evening. Being able to productively listen and attend to your partner is key for effective communication, and listening is also a pre-requisite for conflict resolution.

As men in our society, we haven’t been trained real well in matters of emotion and communication. This can create a tenuous backdrop in a relationship with two men operating from the same conditioning. Not only can it be an obstacle to achieving true intimacy, but it can also cause partners to withdraw emotionally, avoid dealing with problems, or become competitive towards one another if not careful.

Listening is a very complex communication skill that is best taught in counseling or coaching sessions and there are literally zillions of manuals and books out there on the subject. I will try to simplify this using the Stop-Look-Listen model that is typically taught to young children with impulse-control issues. And mind you, I am not comparing us gay men to children! But this is a simple framework to operate from and I encourage you to read up on this issue in the other literature out there for more depth. Listening and communication problems are the number one reasons for conflict in relationships, both straight and gay, and this model will help you learn how to be fully present with your partner.

Step 1: STOP!

You and your partner are in the midst of a disagreement; you’re both upset, tempers are beginning to flare, and the verbal lashings are about to begin… STOP! Remember that nothing of any positive consequence can come from an interaction where two people are angry and defensive. You’re not properly attending to the issues because you’re too busy trying to convince your man that you’re right! The first step to productive listening is to defuse any potential conflicts by each of you setting the tone for positive communication and approaching each other with conscious intent for trying to understand each other and define the problem. You may need to take a “Time-Out” before proceeding with your talk to help calm yourself down and get centered. Refer to the article “Calming the Storm In Your Relationship” from the second issue of The Gay Love Coach Newsletter here for how to properly conduct a Time-Out and other anger management strategies.

Step 2: LOOK!

So now you’ve come back together again after your cool-down period all relaxed and ready to be attentive. Great! You and your lover should go to a place free from distractions so nothing will disturb you and face each other, as you are now each going to take turns expressing your thoughts and feelings about your issue at-hand. One of you will be the speaker and the other will be the listener. No interrupting, Listener! Speaker gets center stage right now—you’ll have your chance later! Speaker should have 3-5 minutes to share his perspective to keep the conversation concise and focused, and this also avoid the monopolizing of “airtime”; typically one partner can be more verbal than the other and this allows equal sharing-time.

No matter how much you get the urge to break-in should your partner say something that you don’t like, hold it back! It’s not about you right now, it’s about you demonstrating to your man that you care and are invested in understanding life through his frame-of-reference, no matter how different it may be from yours. Listening is not about agreeing with your boyfriend and doing what he says, it’s about being fully present and gaining clarity into each other’s experience of your relationship. Be aware of any internal or external factors that could distract you and redirect yourself back to your listening responsibility. Nonverbal communication is integral as well. Make sure you have an open body posture, maintain good eye contact, give affirmative head nods and the occasional “mmm-hmm’s”, etc.

Step 3: LISTEN!

Now it’s time to respond to demonstrate that you really heard your partner’s message and can articulate his thoughts, feelings, needs, and experience non-defensively and without judgment. Speaker goes through a three-step process now to enact this type of scenario. Relationship expert Harville Hendrix developed a technique called Intentional Dialogue to provide a structure for open communication. The steps involved in this strategy include:

1. Mirroring: Repeat what you heard your partner say in your own words. You might use a sentence stem like “What I heard you say was…” Your partner will confirm if you are accurate or will help clarify the message for you until you can mirror it precisely. Avoid parroting back what your lover said word-for- word; instead, paraphrase back what you heard in your own language for more meaning and depth.

2. Validation: Find some grain of logic in what your partner communicated and convey this back to him. “That makes sense to me because…” is a good lead-in. You don’t have to agree with what your partner said, but it’s vital to tell him how and why his experience makes sense to you for the ultimate in making him feel acknowledged and safe.

3. Empathy: Put yourself in your boyfriend’s shoes and imagine what the experience must feel like for him, and say something to the effect of “I imagine that might make you feel…”

Then the two of you switch roles, and you will become the sender and your partner will become the listener and you repeat the process again. While this may not feel like a natural way to communicate, be open to it and give it a try! It’s harder than it looks, but it is an extremely effective way to build trust and intimacy in your relationship as you support each other through active listening. Sometimes solid listening is all that’s needed to solve a problem; other times we may just want to be heard without any intervention from our partner. A client of mine I worked with once said, “I don’t want my boyfriend to problem-solve or fix anything. Sometimes I just want him to listen to me and be a sounding-board without offering any advice or opinions.” Listening can be very therapeutic for a relationship.

Conclusion - Listening may not solve all your problems, but it helps create an atmosphere of nurturance and safety in your relationship. Listening is a precursor for effective conflict resolution, so don’t underestimate its power and avoid jumping into problem-solving mode at its expense, as we guys often do. Look for the positive intent in all your communications and you’ll both enjoy a more fruitful and enjoyable sense of connection in your partnership.

© 2005 Brian L. Rzepczynski - Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, and teleclasses, please visit



GARY posted this earlier. . . . .

Greyson Chance's second appearance on the Ellen show.

FANTASTIC! Ellen has started a music recording company ELEVEN/ELEVEN and Greyson is her first STAR performer. . . WoW. . . I think this is great. . .what an opportunity for this kid. . 12 years old. KOOL!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


One of my friends suggested that Peter and I ought to listen, together, to Ella Fitzgerald singing Gershwin's "Someone To Watch Over Me". I want to share this classic with all of you romantics. . . . .non-romantice are welcome to listen too. LOL


here is the link. . . .


Peter and Justin

This is Peter. . . in the water. . .. and Justin up there on the beach.
Discrete distances. . . hahahahaahahaahaaaaa

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


LOL. . . . .LOL. . . . YES yesterday I rejoined the local work force! Last year there was no work due to all our recesssion problems. This summer things are better. My buddy Rob's Dad has a construction company and this summer he was able to hire the kids again. We've been working for him since high school. He has been good to us!

What do I do? Where there is a pic of me above, early at work, still with a shirt on. . .to keep the "dust off". . . I work hanging drywall. aka sheet rock, also I am a "mud slinger": I do the taping and sanding and firm/close up all the seams and corners. In this pic I am sanding the dried mud used to seal the taped seams. . . ...DUSTING! SO I am not dressed to do coronary by-pass but to make the walls and ceilings ready for the painters. When I leave a room it is ready for the painters!

Today was warm. . . .LOL. . in the low 90*f. Sweaty work. . ..and the day goes on, some of the clothing comes off. . . ..and the dust makes me look "ghostie". . .hahahaaa.

More later.


DONT ASK DONT TELL may come up for a vote in the US Congress as early as this week. . . .Here is "another side" to the issue, totally underestimating the abilities of the American Military to cope with gays fighting/dying next to them in battle. . .etc. yad yada yada. . . . .
SEE/READ the ongoing bullshit we have to put up with in the USA "with liberty and justice for all". . . O, say can you see. . . . .???

Inhofe: Soldiers "Not Equipped" to Serve With Gays


Oklahoma senator and Armed Services Committee member James Inhofe said in a Wednesday interview that soldiers in combat were unwilling to fight for gay and lesbian soldiers also serving in the line of fire.

Inhofe reiterated his opposition to repealing "don't ask, don't tell" during an interview on Focal Point, an American Family Association radio show.

Inhofe also said he opposed Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court because of her stance on "don't ask, don't tell" when she was dean of Harvard Law School.

Inhofe's DADT remarks:

"For those of us — and I’m one of them — who have gone through the military, gone through basic training, and you stop and think — it just doesn’t make any sense. Second of all, it’s just not working. You have women, men, then you have a third group to deal with, and they’re not equipped to do that.

"And you know — you hear the stories all the time. A military guy — I happen to be Army, and Army and Marines always feel that when we’re out there, we’re not doing it for the flag or the country; we’re doing it for the guy in the next foxhole. And that would dramatically change that."

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Reader Comments
  • Name: Tim
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 4:52:31 PM
    Hometown: Baltimore


    I won't call him a bonehead, because I try not to name call.

  • Name: James Oliver Sewell
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 4:30:13 PM
    Hometown: Tulsa OK


    Senator Inhofe, just when I think you cannot top yourself as an elected representative from Oklahoma (not by my vote, let me add), like the Energizer Bunny, you excel in beating your little tin drum of ignorant, morally bankrupt blather on another subject of national discourse. Go to the Congressional Cemetery, Senator, and find the tombstone that bears a Star of David with the inscription “They gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” Have you no shame to make your recent statements to the American Family Association that soldiers are “not equipped” to serve with gays in the military, along with your other ridiculous assertions on DADT? Homosexual soldiers have served in the military from the beginning of warfare, and they will be doing so, either acknowledged or not, when you and I are dead and gone. I know because I was a gay soldier in the Korean War and held Top Secret clearance in the government during my professional career, both without the threat of unwanted active or passive sexual experience. I am old now and of little consequence to a national debate, having survived a lifetime of stupid statements from people like you, but I am a native-Oklahoma-born citizen. I have paid all my dues and taxes and deserve my right to speak, the same as you. And, yes, I honorably earned all the VA benefits I now enjoy, including the best “socialized” medical care, which you share in Congress but would deny other deserving residents of this country. As for homophobia, I recently read, “I had rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not.” Thank you, Senator Inhofe, for the opportunity to borrow this quotation and once more be reminded just who I am in this world as a productive and compassionate human being. James Oliver Sewell

  • Name: David E. Lawton
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 2:33:34 PM
    Hometown: Dayton


    I'm glad I was never in a fox hole next to him. No telling what other bigotries he has. What if there was something about me he didn't like and wasn't willing to fight for?

  • Name: Rick
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 1:51:08 PM
    Hometown: Bay City, MI


    So, less than two years of service back in the '50s makes him qualified to speak on behalf of the entire US military????????

  • Name: Tom
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 12:45:21 PM
    Hometown: Winnipeg


    Bigots are not known for their integrity and charm and, in many cases, their intellligence. What is so different about the American armed forces that they hedge at serving side-by-side with gay men or women, when other countries have no difficulty with this?

  • Name: Stephen
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 11:58:29 AM
    Hometown: Iowa City


    NOT fighting for Country!? NOT fighting for the Flag!? NOT fighting for the citizens of the United States who cannot defend themselves? I thought gays, men, and women joined the Armed Forces to protect this country not the guys in the foxholes. While this noble act occurs while in the trenches, it is not the motivating force for being in the military. How interesting that Inhofe sites the "guy code" for looking out for his buddies, as though gay men have not given their lives for others. Shame, shame.

  • Name: michaelandfred
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 9:39:21 AM
    Hometown: miami beach


    When HE was a young man blacks still had to ride in the back of the bus, Schools weren't segregated, women couldn't serve in the military and gay sex was still criminal in most states. I think what it's time for is for all of these ancient politicians to retire because they are completely out of touch with the modern world. Times, they are a changin' senator. Move with them or step aside.

  • Name: Paul
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 9:24:16 AM
    Hometown: Detroit


    If the men and women in combat zones are more worried about who is looking at their tits or dicks than worried about who may SHOOT them, perhaps they have no place in a combat zone to begin with. If I were in such a situation and the person next to me was a prejudiced bigotted misogynistic idiot puling about queers checking out his junk I would be sorely tempted into engaging in a little oopsie my bad friendly fire. These morons are the ones who are the biggest danger to the squad/platoon/company because their minds (loosely used term) are not on the job that they are there to do.

  • Name: chichi
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 9:15:29 AM
    Hometown: atl


    I think gay service members are equipped for just about everything.

  • Name: Cacey
    Date posted: 5/14/2010 9:05:38 AM
    Hometown: El Coco


    Having served in the Army as well, I can tell you that the young Imhoff is the soldier in the next fox hole I would have had a bad time defending. Arrogance and stupidity do not begin when one is elected to the Senate but are seen in young men as well and I have this picture of what YoungJim must have been like. Thank god or whoever I did not have to share a bunk room, fox hole or shower with Imhoff who has to rate as the stupidist person in all of Congress. And not only on this issue.

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Gay Relationships: Looking At Codependency

Twogether61209 Doesn’t just hearing the word grate on your nerves? “Codependency” was one of the great buzz words of the 1980’s. Sometimes it seemed like everyone either was, used to be or feared being codependent. Like many psycho babble terms, this one lost all of it’s meaning on the way into common language.

I saw a personal ad once that was headlined, “I’LL BE CODEPENDENT IF YOU WANT ME TO BE.” Codependency used to be a technical term used by psychotherapists and addiction specialists. It referred to the lover or spouse of a person with an addiction -- alcoholism, drug abuse and so forth. The classic notion is that the addicted person is dependent on something like alcohol or cocaine, and the partner is equally affected by the problem, if in slightly different ways.

It’s often true -- patterns can be found among people who find themselves in relationships with alcoholics and others with similar problems. As our society became more familiar with recovery and twelve-step programs, the language of such programs was borrowed, often carelessly. Codependency can be pretty easy to spot -- at least to everyone other than the individuals involved. For example, a Codependent Guy may take on more responsibility than is fair in a relationship.

His partner is irresponsible in one way or another (money, career, etc.), so he compensates by becoming super responsible (working, taking care of the household, cutting back on his own expenses, etc.) “I have to be the grown-up around here!” is a typical complaint.

It doesn’t stop there, of course. The Codependent Guy often finds his partner to be someone he just can’t count on. He responds by becoming more controlling. “I guess I’ll just have to start balancing your checkbook if you are going to bounce checks all the time!” Rather than let the person with the problem bear the results of his action/inaction, Codependent Guy takes over. In the process, he often becomes, well, a bitch.

If things get worse, Codependent Guy may get so wrapped up in his partner’s problems that he let’s his own self go. He stops taking care of himself, because the other partner needs so much help.... Of course, the payoff for Codependent Guy is that he gets to look good to others (he’s the “responsible one” in their relationship), and he may ignore his own shortcomings or problems.

In fact, Codependent Guy sometimes loses his very sense of self. He finds himself defined in terms of his relationship, his job, how he takes care of others. If the relationship ends, he may find himself dazed and confused, uncertain of who he is anymore. His self-esteem tanks, and he feels like life’s ultimate victim -- a good person, well-intentioned, but neglected and abused by the very person or people he most wanted to help.

A word of caution here: some “dependency” can be a good thing. If we were totally independent and had no need for that partner or boyfriend, what would our relationships look like? Pretty cold and boring, if the existed at all!

Healthy relationships are characterized by both partners learning to lean on one another while neither party loses his identity.

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -


Saturday, May 22, 2010


No, no. . I do not hold a part-time job with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. I just enjoy living here, being a Cape Coder, with a closer affinity to Provincetown at the out-end of the Cape, out in the Atlantic.

In the map here you can see part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. and in lower center Cape Cod tenuously holding onto the mainland, yet separated by the man-made Cape Cod Canal but hanging to and connected by the 75 year old Sagamore Bridge, and a bit to the West the Byrne Bridge. There is one main highway Route 6, which runs from the tip of the Cape at Provincetown East-West to just a hair South of San Francisco. The next photo shows you the West Coast beginning of this famous highway.

Since I am setting up my amateurish geophysical settings for Cape Cod, let's try another view. . . this time from outer space and look down "from the heavens, as it were, poetically seeing what God sees. . . "And God looked at all He had done and saw that it was good, very good. . ."

And. . .behold! the Promised Land, the Province Lands and at the very upper tip, Provincetown!

The two large islands to the South of the Cape are Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. If you look carefully at the South-East portion of the peninsula, at the corner which forms the elbow of the arm, where there is just a bit of cloud cover from the ocean, you will see me standing on the roof of the O'Shea Home, high on the Dunes, waving at God. . . . .
I do that sometimes. . hehehee. . . .But seriously that gives you a bird's eye view of O'Shea turf in the night sky. This is where I was born almost 22 years ago on June 30th. . . .and, no matter where I go, part of my heart is always there. That's the way it is with us Cape Coders. . . we belong to the Land and the Sea.

Now getting a little closer to our feet on the ground here is a view from the Town Hall, top floor, looking South. The main drag is Commercial Street and that is down there between the row of buildings on the beach, and the rest 'across the street.'

Over here is the Town Hall, kinda the center of things. . "you can get anywhere from here". . . . a good place to hang out and watch the sights and maybe be sighted too. LOL

Along the sidewalks are benches, even up the side street where you can sit and rest and observe. And diagonally across the street, south, is that totally fantastic historic landmark. . . .
DaDUUUUHHHHHH. . . The Portuguese Bakery !!!!!

Leaving this venerable shrine heading just down the street a bit our eyes
are greeting by this shirt in the window of the shoppe which features something for everyone. . . .

We close this part of our tour with the reminder of a place "with freedom and justice for all. . ." There are these little oases here and there where we can live and love as we were created to live.

With this small token your tour guide says "Au revoir. . .a bientot. . . next time. " ;-))

Thursday, May 20, 2010


HERE IS Provincetown, early morning still, on Commercial Street. You can see the chaging scenario from this spot all day and all night. . . .;-) Who knows. . .ya just might see Peter and me waving at you later in the day, looking into the camera in the trees. . . ;-)

Have a fun day. . . . .justin



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