Category Archives: Identity

Federally-Sanctioned Love

I’m just drained on this topic. There is a vote on a two-sentence Constitutional Amendment coming before Congress this week. It is Senate Joint Resolution 40:

This is how these two little sentences read:

`Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.’.

Here is a letter I sent out to my friends regarding this absurdity:

Hi – please forgive me for the political message – this isn’t something
I normally involve myself in directly.

Apparently, the constitutional amendment that would bar marriage between
people of the same sex is coming to a vote very soon.

This is a very strange thing to me – thinking that our constitution
would be used for such a silly, yet horribly mean-spirited thing.

If you’re interested, there’s a site you can go to and submit a letter
before Wednesday’s vote.

This is what I wrote:

The Constitution of the United States was conceived to lay a framework
for freedom – for all people. To alter it, introducing prejudice, is an
unconscionable and debilitating act. Do not allow that erosive process
to begin.

It’s at http://www.moveon.org/unitednotdivided

Again, I apologize for the political email – and one of these vote
thingies – but it means a lot to me, and to many others. Yeah, yeah, I’m
not even really seeing anyone right now, I know… but still, if I do
ever hook up right with someone, I’d sure like to be able to be married.

And also, it _really_ irritates me that people who profess love can, at
the same time, go out of their way to squelch love. Double-talk and
duplicity are a pet peeve for me that runs very deep.

AND, more than anything, America was founded in large part to find
freedom from religious tyrrany. Spirituality and religion is a wonderful
thing – and I believe everyone would benefit, especially all of us
collectively, from focusing more upon the spritual. But sprituality IS
NOT TO BE IMPOSED.

Thanks for listening….
Mark

———–

With all the troubles men experience when they start to love another man – it’s so stupid to try making it even moreso. Isn’t it that we need more love? Particularly between men?

Virtually Being Yourself

For those of us with imaginations that become easily immersed in works of fiction, the notion of role playing games fits like a warm blanket. Whereas reading a long story, or even a long series of books, where the story lines follow the many developments of characters, their acquaintances, and their various adventures, can be a highly enjoyable way to “vacation” without actually physically travelling, role playing games can be a way to directly participate in the unfolding tales and adventures that you are not just living within, but creating as you go – through all your interactions with other characters, places, allies and enemies.

There are so many different types of role playing games online – many of which focus on just the high-powered, fast, first-person view of your world, where the object is merely to KILL KILL KILL as many enemies as you can, as quickly as you can, before you are killed. These games sometimes offer the ability to meet and team up with friends, watching each other’s backs as you go on your rampage. Or, more interestingly, go up against whole other groups of people who have allied themselves with one another, and who want nothing more than to kill you, and all your friends.

These are “worlds” where the meekest person can become an agressive killing machine, finding power and dominance over this virtual world he’s participating within. It is fast-paced, action-packed – live or die.

You learn and develop techniques to stay alive, and to kill. You toy with adversaries that are weaker, or less aware of their surroundings. You require perfection of your friends – that you all become single-minded in your approach to situations so the victory of the pack will be assured.

Some people will always take reckless and agressive tactics, gaining a reputation for themselves as fearless and strong. Others develop a silent and deadly stealth.

These are the role playing worlds for the most raw, survivalist, cruel and absolute parts of our psyche. A place where we can become victorious through mindless, yet cunning forces of dominance.

However, other types of RPGs (Role Playing Games) do exist. Ones that allow you to pay much more attention to who it is you want to be, and appear as – how smart you want to be, or how strong – how sturdy or wise – how charismatic. How evil or good, or lawful in your evil, or chaotic in your good – how, with the elf blood flowing in your veins, you are able to see much better than others in the dark places, and how, being a smaller, dexterous halfling, you are much better at hiding in the shadows, or stealing a needed key.

In these more subtle and rich worlds, you gain experience with each of your encounters. You learn to use a longsword, grow stronger, and are able to fight much better with it. Or you find new spells along your adventures, and with your growing knowledge, the spells you know become more powerful.

When adventuring with friends, you mix your strengths and weaknesses. The strong fighters move out front, taking the brunt of an onslaught, while a sorceress stays in the back, protected from attack so she can work her magics on the enemies, while the clerics fight when necessary, and call in the powers of the divine to aid in battle, or heal the wounded.

Online gaming has become extraordinarily diverse – and complex. It allows you to assume a character, “become” it, and interact with others in a completely fictitional world. It is very interesting to see how people react – what becomes important to them, how they feel about helping or hurting or taking or giving. In many ways, it allows people to explore a life that they will never lead, but somehow still, can live.

And I think that not all of what is experienced within these worlds remains just there. Real or not, these are experiences. And like all experiences, we learn and we grow from them.

In our “real” world where everything is so defined – our roles that become a solidification of the definitions we have for ourselves, or others lay upon us – how nice it can be to sometimes just utterly destroy or overcome an obstacle. Or even moreso, how wonderful it can be to have the capacity to offer a great act of pure kindness to another.

Even though it is not real.

Married Men Who Aren’t Gay

Lately I’ve been a member of this online group for men that deals in support for men who are in heterosexual marriages, yet they are gay, or bisexual. I joined because I wanted to understand better what was going on with myself, and another man I have been involved with who was married.

At first I went in with great fascination – amazed at how many men were in this situation, or wanted to be in it. They call it a “closed-loop” relationship – where a married guy commits to a relationship with another married guy – or, less preferably, a single gay or bi man.

Whether or not they tell their wives is not important to most. The issue is, in fact, considered taboo in the group because it generates such heated words from people. The strange thing is, it’s always the guys who don’t feel they need to tell their wives that do all the shouting, even at guys that merely talk about how they have told their wives, and the various things that have happened. I think these men must feel a very strong pressure of guilt, and twist the other men’s testimonials about coming out to their wives into an accusation that they are horrible people for not doing the same.

This issue certainly is a very ethically complex one, particularly when children are involved.

Oddly enough, the majority of the men seem to be in their fifties, though there is a large splattering of ages. But they are certainly in the majority. Most have waited until their children have grown up and left the home. Most want to keep their family in tact, though some are very torn on the issue.

Of particular interest is the way they identify themselves sexually. Some men say they are gay, but they are in the minority. Most men say they have been curious, or “having these feelings of attraction”. Most do say that they’ve had those feelings for a very long time.

They are much more likely to identify themselves as bisexual, which would stand to reason, I suppose, considering their predicament.

Yet I wonder, why is it they feel so heavily compelled to act on homosexual desires, and risk so much, if they are bisexual? Almost all of them have a very deep fear of being exposed. Something is just not right in this.

Recently, a man posted that he’s changed his mind – that he just can’t deal with the “homosexual lifestyle” – and that he and his wife just had amazing sex, chandeliers swinging, etc. And that they were moving. And also, was there any man in the group who happened to live near to where they were moving…

Many feel that they need to only be with another married man – that this man would be the only man who could could understand that their families have to come first. But I know this isn’t true, based upon my own experience – I would often remind my “friend” that his family had to come first, not me.

I think, rather, that they need someone who they can remain straight with, even though they have sex together. If they are with a gay man, that means they have to admit they are gay – or at least bisexual. But if they are with another married man, then they can both remain straight. After all, you’re not gay if you’re married.

Some of the men have wonderful stories of how they told their wife everything, and their wives, though not at first, have grown to become supportive, and even allow them to have a male partner. They see little conflict.

But there are also stories of how the wife refused to accept it, and promised that she would leave with the children if he ever acted on it.

And most of the men choose to sneak. They will actually pine on about how wonderful their male counterparts are – the part of their lives that they so look forward to. And the ones that don’t have a male counterpart have no problem pining on about their dream of it, either.

The interesting thing is seeing new people join the group, who are younger – who have just entered into marriage, or who are considering it.

I wish there was some way to help them understand that they must enter into their own lives, fully as who they are, before they enter into the life of another.

I actually feel very sorry for most of these men – the majority are not happy at all. They are trapped, in their ideal dream, and/or in their hiding place. But that’s not to say that the rest of their lives is diminished – but it is to say that sexual intimacy – spiritual intimacy – is very fundamental to the core of our being. And theirs is messed up – for lack of the time to type any more…

I hope that my friend find happiness in his life. But I’m a little more than reasonably sure that he may just find mere satifaction, if he is lucky.

It’s too bad that fear can conquer love in some men.

Warm hugs

Innocence Lost