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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sheryl Swoopes News

   Earlier today I took a look at my copy of  last week's Bay Windows, a weekly for the New England GLBT community and came across an opinion piece by Rev. Irene Monroe regarding the recent news of Sheryl Swoopes' engagement to a man. Now first off I've got to admit I had no idea who Sheryl Swoopes is, so I nearly passed the article right by. The word "bi-phobia" in the header caught my attention. Reading the article I couldn't help but be struck by the story's connection to some aspects of my musings on Outness last week.
   Why is it that bisexuality, which would, I think, be the norm if subject to suppressed by Occidental societal pressures, considered a lack of commitment by both ends of the spectrum? Is it because it puts the lie to the imperatives of either side? Homophobic groups use it as proof of their claims of homosexuality being a choice and can use willing bisexuals as "proof" of their cures. And sad to say some gays view pronouncements of bisexuality as a dodge for those who refuse to admit their homosexuality. I can't help but feel pity for the spot Ms. Swoopes is in as a public figure. Aside from the ridiculous pressures from such public exposure their is the added harangues of factions trying to use her for their own purposes. Everything she says and does is susceptible to manipulation and misuse for someone else's cause. I understand that she has maintained all along that she views sexuality as a choice. That is counter to what many GLBT organizations hold, they know such an opinion will be used as a weapon by conservative religious groups; it often is. If one thinks it through with clear and open mind, it's obvious; to a "near middle" bisexual, sexual attraction does come down to choice.
Even"five and a half me" has some sexual interest in women. Although I truly can't ever imagine myself in a long term sexually exclusive relationship with a woman.
   This complete misunderstanding of the dynamics of sexuality, introductory arousal and psychic attraction  stands in the way of any rational discourse. There are not two or three or four sexual orientations; each and ever one of us has our own set of sex-variables (for lack of a better term) with an inborn base or essence supplemented with circumstantial modifiers or fetishes e.g. I know I was born with a pronounced attraction to males, from experience beards appeal to me, also red sweatpants are an arousal trigger engendered by a couple of entertaining incidents involving red sweatpants.
   I have always marveled at the bizarre proposition that one would choose homosexuality, let me explain that one: go back in time fifty, a hundred, four hundred years when "sodomites" were tortured and executed; who the hell would choose that path? I don't believe the piece of ass exists which would make me want to risk that! I think the very fact that, after centuries of such malevolence and violence, the continued presence of individuals who love the same sex proves beyond doubt that homosexuality is not simply an aberrant lust. I'm certainly not brave enough to risk censure and violence for a simple physical pleasure. I contemplated my urges and emotions many, many times when I was younger; there is absolutely no way I could then or can now alter the principle focus of my desires: physical or emotional.     
    The piece by Rev. Monroe excerpted a quote  contained in a piece by Cyd Zeigler on :
"It is amazing to me that after all the HOOPLA surrounding Sheryl Swoopes “coming out” …. her recent marriage to a MAN get’s virtually no attention. Is she now UN-GAY?… Why is the fact that this woman went through a period of “trial” in her life NOT getting any press? It is obvious that the woman just like every other gay or lesbian man or woman in the world had at that time made a CHOICE to entertain the idea of being with someone of the same gender. Sheryl is just more proof that no one is born gay, it is a learned behavior brought on by experiences and circumstances in ones life. I am very happy for Sheryl – but the “gay agenda” driven PRESS can bite it. It is MORE than obvious the press is nothing but a bunch of HYPOCRITES more than willing to make a HUGE story out of someone supposedly being gay but having absolutely NOTHING to say when that same individual realizes it was NOTHING more than just a phase in their lives."
    It is incomprehensible to me, the level of vehemence expressed by "extremist heterosexuals" What is at the root of it, hatred or fear? 
    In general, our society seems to accept a bisexual female a lot easier than a bisexual male. I think had this been a bisexual male the uproar would have been insane. Why is it easier for a woman to be bisexual regarding societal acceptance? ...That's a subject for another day.
   A very large part of who we fall in love with is circumstance plain and simple. We can't fall in love with someone we haven't met. Circumstance put a man, then a woman, the another man in Ms. Swoopes' path. For a middle of the scale bisexual, the sex of the person whom they fall in love with can't really matter, can it? The only choice they really can be said to make is whether or not to pursue a relationship with the person they connect with. They are, I think, the most fortunate of us all.
   Rev. Monroe ends her article with two excellent points we must all try to keep in mind:
"Who Swoops is partnered really none of our business." and "If you are in the straight camp cheering Swoopes for 'crossing back over' or in the queer camp castigating her for 'flip-flopping' you share a bi-phobic reaction to Swoopes' choice........"


Friday, July 29, 2011

Literary Presumptions

  I've decided to dig up an erotic story I began years ago just for my own amusement, to see if I can make something of it. I ran across a mention of a writing contest which this story might just fit. I have no idea if my writing efforts of late have any merit, I'm in a bit of a vacuum regarding any level of literary competence right now. For the time being I figure I'll just keep pounding away at the typewriter & scratching out my musings in composition books until I find someone who can tell me if there's a kernel of some worth buried in amongst the effusion.
"Then to the lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean'd, the Secret of my Life to learn:
  And lip to Lip it murmur'd  - 'While
    you live,
Drink! -  for, once dead, you never shall

                                                        The Rubaiyt of Omar Khayyam                                                              

                                           A.S. Merrimac

Sunday, July 24, 2011


  Can a person who doesn't completely believe in the conceit of strict sexual orientation come out? What of a person who long ago stopped "heterosexualizing" his life (as viewed by others)?
  At 45 I'm frankly sick of worrying about losing perceived friends yet still worried about it, there's a paradox. What do I do; simply announce to each and everyone as I meet them "...oh, by the way, I'm gay"? I think most of those who already know me have silently figured it out long ago, I dropped many hints over the years. That's no longer enough for me. How does one just start living gay? I can't think of any other way of saying it. Do I owe my friends the announcement?
  Fear  and secretiveness long ago became habit. I lived two lives, but then they both fell apart to one degree or another. I hid from the world for a long time; now I have faced among others, my biggest fear. After spending nearly a decade celibate and waiting to die I got tested. Relief isn't a big enough word after the years of self-imposed uncertainty. It is a awakening of such tremendous proportion for me.
  So now I must recast my life. I have once again opened my mind and heart to new ideas and new modes. Yet I still hold back from the final little step. This is partially complicated by an intuition I am not alone in having and reinforced by much enlightened reading.
  I must stress that this isn't some lame form of denial. I have never had a problem with my orientation, just the world's view of it. I now believe the constructs of homosexuality and heterosexuality are merely inventions. Keeping in mind Kinsey's (sexuality) scale while reading, among others Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton or Homophobia: A History by Byrne Fone has reinforced years of personal experience. I can't tell you how many "straight" guys I've had encounters with over the years. The stereotype of the sleazy men's rooms, rest stops and parks is based on truth, but the real truth is these are the areas bolstered and frequented by these "straights" more often than not. Many of these men don't seem to be in any sort of self-denial as to their desires, they simply believe in presenting a straight persona to the world. Very often these men are married,  I can't help but feel they're bit hypocritical. I'm not bashing those men who grew up in fear or ignorance just those knowingly accept and deny, sort of a societal DADT. 
  Now I figure I'm about a five and a half on Kinsey's scale-does that make me a homosexual? Or does it make me a man with a marked homosexual preference? Don't think of it as a semantic dispute. Think of it as a label dictated by society, an all-exclusive identifier. Why must the sexuality of the homosexual be the attribute used to define the entire person? I am so much more than simply a sexual being. I think this categorizing of sexuality may have been used primarily to legitimize civil persecution in place of religious persecution as church powers declined over the last few centuries. These secular arbiters, it must be remembered were and are for the most part congregants of these very same religions. So a fallacious precept is given secular and medical legitimacy by these people, reinforcing for some a pre-existing irrational hatred.  This hatred was and is a self-hate for so many.
  In spite of all this enmity there continue to be men and women who accept their innate disposition to one degree or another and in spite of the fading official dogma of church and state. How has it come to pass that a majority of, at least us Occidentals (Westerners), have learned to suppress so thoroughly a living part of their very being? And why?
  Someday things will change for the better, but until then intelligent free thinking people must stand against all forms of prejudicial irrationality.  So now having reached a transition must I follow a existing standard and label myself a gay man. Or can I identify myself as a man who's gay without sounding like a pedagog? I can't help but think it's important explore, reflect and discuss the validity of our present ideas of sexuality. So does coming out for me become a refutation of my developing belief? What do I become and how do I put it into words? 
  On top of all that, shedding my entrenched covertness is a difficult and ongoing process. A huge part of me can't help but wish it was already over and done with. I still haven't figured out how best to simply "be a gay man" (or a "man who's gay") in my day to day life. Is it still even necessary to declare your affiliation?  
  It is an interesting albeit awkward journey for me, I've got a lot of catching up to do! Hopefully one or two people will find this little composition and will be willing to share some of their wisdom with me.

                                                                                             A.S. Merrimac 

( Still partially hiding behind a nom de blog.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some delusions of literary merit.

#1  The city lights through the sparse autumn trees
twinkling like artificial stars,
leading the way to an imperfect man-made Eden.
Imperfect, yet awe inspiring still.

#2  Leaves like burnished gold
floating in the autumn air
against the silver grey of the sky.

#3  Black roofs speckled
with transient gold.

#4  Gutters ragged with shades of autumn
-fallen leaves.

#5  Gold toned marble
shot through with veins of black
and blotches of silver-
the trees from the 3rd. floor kitchen window.

                                       Written autumn 2010,
                                                  A.S. Merrimac
                                                                                            copyright A.S.M. Dec. 2010

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Beginning

Greetings, I am simply another small voice in this vast place of no place; this web electronically connecting us all. Our world is smaller & smaller each day, we learn more & more about each other every day. We are all passengers aboard this spinning orb careering through space & time, all overseen by a Entity; a Power, a Creator, whatever word you may choose "It" goes far beyond language.
Today it is thought all humanity is descended from a meager few thousand individuals aeons ago in an  Ice Age. We nearly died out, but for a few hardy souls. There is more DNA variety in a tribe of lower primates than in all of us! We are brothers & sisters yet we fear & hate each other so often. We close off our minds to different ideas & interpretations. We create false standards & ranks to divide ourselves. When will we acknowledge the one supreme tribe: life
 From time to time I shall share my canted way of seeing our world through essays, fiction & philosophy (even some very poor attempts at poetry). I have a very definite view of the world, one I have much faith in, but I know it's only one view. I hope to be able to share my thoughts & beliefs with those who are interested as well as learn their views & beliefs. We may never agree but it is my hope we can begin to understand & accept each other & our views.

A.S. Merrimac