The Baggage We Carry

July 16th, 2018

I had a chat with a couple friends this past Friday. One was celebrating her birthday and suddenly became quite emotional. Not necessarily in the good way, but a kind of “I need to get this off my chest” kind of way. This friend is absolutely lovely. She just has some baggage from her youth that tends to rear its ugly head from time to time. Friday was one of those times. Then the other friend we were with shared a few things about her childhood, and the scars those memories left.

Seems like we all have baggage.
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The Face of Gay 23 (Martha Davis of The Motels)

July 6th, 2018


Have you ever heard a song on the radio and not been able to get it out of your head? I’ve experienced this a few times in my life and one of the earliest I remember is from 1983. It remains to me a bit of magic to this day…a song that embraces the perfect combination of melody, vocals and lyrics. It’s called Suddenly Last Summer and it cemented my young, cute-as-a-button-back-then self as a fan of The Motels from that day forward.

It was years later in 2000 that I got curious about what the group was up to and looked them up online. As fate would have it, The Motels were playing a month later in Chicago during Halsted Market Days. My then-boyfriend/partner/future husband/Master over all living things (his words, not mine) lived two blocks away, so I flew out and, together, we watched Martha Davis and her troupe play live. What made it especially memorable is that she played a song from her solo album, Policy, called Just Like You and EVERYBODY knew the lyrics and sang along. Talk about magic.

We’ve seen Martha Davis and The Motels play live three times now, the last concert being in Palm Springs during Pride Fest a couple of years back. It was at that show during the finale of Only The Lonely when Martha actually stopped the song, looked at someone in the audience, grinned and announced “Holy shit! You hit the high note!” She’s no stranger to the LGBT community and when I approached Martha to ask if she’d consider writing a Face of Gay post, she didn’t hesitate. Her warmth and affection for all people shine through here and I can’t thank her enough for contributing to this series.

So, Happy New Year and welcome to the first Face of Gay of 2013!
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The One That Almost Wasn’t

June 8th, 2018

I got a bit misty-eyed at work today and not because I took my lunch almost an hour and a half late. It wasn’t even because the last two weeks are starting to catch up to me and I’m stupid exhausted. It’s because I saw Falling Awake II: Revenant listed on Amazon. Granted, I got misty-eyed again when I saw it was already for sale instead of pre-order, but my guy is working on that as I type. You have to laugh. With all the drama in our lives right now, is anything bound to be smooth?

But this book almost wasn’t.
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June 4th, 2018

I wasn’t at the hospital when my father-in-law passed away. I’d come down with the start of a cold the day before, and I didn’t want to risk making him any sicker than he was. He passed away the first night his two sons stayed with him for a 24 hour period. I also wasn’t there when my father passed. We thought it would take a week minimum before his body gave out. I left around 10p.m. and he passed around 3:15a.m. the next morning. I’ve regretted not being there when these two people left us. So when my grandmother’s future looked bleak and I was with her and other family members in the hospital last week, I was bound and determined to see this through.
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My Mother and My Grandmother

May 30th, 2018

“The seasons come and go again,
And what was old is new again,
They say you’re over times have changed…the end…
But there’s no end to this story”
(Kim Wilde, Pop Don’t Stop)

Mom did something very odd last week. She sent me an e-mail with the subject “I might need some help”. I thought, okay, she goofed something on the computer. I’ll stop by after work and sort it out. Then I read the message; “Something is wrong with me.” She didn’t want to alarm my grandmother, so she e-mailed. I called my boss, left a minute or two later, and called her. There was something not quite right with her speech. I called Ralph, told him what was going on, and he called mom. He ended up calling her an ambulance.
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Your Father….

May 23rd, 2018

“You’re father….”

I get a sick feeling in my stomach to this day when I read those words. Two words shouldn’t do that, should they? But it’s all about context, especially in this case. And for some reason, the words were seriously bothering me this past Sunday night. I’ve met some colorful people over the years, many of who I continue to be in contact with. Others? No. I’d also asked many of them to contribute to the Face of Gay blog series back in 2012 and 2013, including the person who said the aforementioned words.
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The One That Started It All

May 6th, 2018

Yes, that, not who. This isn’t that kind of post. The whole that/who thing is a pet peeve of mine. People are “who”s, not “that”s. So, yes. The one that started it all. Last Wednesday saw the re-release of the first book I ever wrote, Honor Unbound. I share authorship of it with Diane Abbott, who did all the research for the book. This turned out to be fortuitous because I pretty much hate research. Unless I really, really, really need it, I won’t. And because this is a historical book, the story needed it. I figured since most people who are familiar with my work under the pseudonym Kage Alan will have never heard of Honor Unbound, I’d give you a little background on how it came to be.
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Chasing Shadows

April 29th, 2018

“Nothing’s the same anymore.” (Commander Jeffrey Sinclair, Babylon 5)

And he’s correct. I don’t mind change. You’re thinking I’m lying, right? Well, the truth is I don’t mind change as long as things stay somewhat the same. For instance? I miss the way Twinkies taste. They were softer and full of flavor as a child. Fewer preservatives, I think, and a much shorter shelf life. Going to see a movie was different then too. You waited in long lines to be packed into dozens of rows with no stadium seats, hoping nobody tall or with big hair sat in front of you. Movie theaters were gold mines then.
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When It Finally Feels Real

April 14th, 2018

A friend of ours who Ralph used to live with while he worked in Chicago many years back passed away a week ago. This came as somewhat unexpected news because while Marianne had several things going wrong with her, she always rallied. Always. Kinda of like a cat with 9 lives, plus a few extra. She’d gone in for surgery last November or December, ended up on a ventilator—shades of what happened to author Dorien Grey—and had a number of ups and downs while in the hospital and rehab ever since.

Then Ralph and I got the text last weekend. Marianne had passed.
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Have A Nice Life

February 26th, 2018

I remember the first time I heard this phrase and it stuck with me. I was listening to Cyndi Lauper’s Christmas album and she says it in a song. It struck me as…ironic? Not mean since it’s a Christmas album. I’ve heard the phrase said in a less-than-happy way. Actually, someone said it to me last year and it wasn’t in a humorous way at all. More on that later. The odd thing is I caught myself thinking “Have a nice life” the other day. About a house.
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